5 Quart Dutch Oven
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Creating cast iron cookware, like this, since 1896, Lodge continues to impress with an unparalleled dedication to quality, technology, and its employees. This piece in particular is perfect for oven-to-table presentations of soups, stews, beans, or any family favorite. The included domed iron cover adds versatility and space for roasts, while the super deep design makes it great for frying or breads. It's right at home on induction, ceramic, electric, and gas cooktops, in your oven, on the grill, and it's mandatory over the campfire!
This Dutch oven is great for ensuring heat retention and even heating during use. And, since it comes pre-seasoned from Lodge, it offers a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use, letting you cook healthier by limiting the amount of oils needed in your cooking (unless we're frying chicken of course; in that case we aren't worrying about it too much - see the fried chicken recipe at the end of this description).
This oven will make the perfect roast or baked chicken, baked beans, even cream-based soups and chowders, which are a challenge even for stainless steel. The very even heat of cast iron ensures that there are no hot spots and that your dinner cooks perfectly. And as a bonus, the lid can be used by itself as a skillet!
I'm also an avid camp cook; If you have ever wanted to bake at your campsite, this is what you need to have!
A Dutch Oven is extremely versatile.
Caring for cast iron is a little different than for some cookware:
There are a very many people (like me) who only rinse their cast iron cookware in hot water then wipe it out. This ensures that your "seasoning", which is the oil coating on the surface, is not destroyed (of course if you're in commercial food service you'd never get away with this) !
Even though this pan is pre-seasoned, it's a good idea to spray or wipe it with some vegetable oil every now and then, and to cook a fatty meat like hamburger in it the first time you use it. I know a guy who got a brand new cast iron skillet, and decided to make a mushroom and wine dish in it - the acid from the wine stripped the pre-seasoning and he was left with a pretty big cleanup. After a couple of uses, you should be good to go with wine, tomatoes, vinegar, etc.
Don't allow your cast iron cookware to stay wet, that will contribute to rust (it is iron, right - that's why I recommend the hot water and wipe method - the heat will let the pan dry very quickly).
Dutch Oven Fried Chicken:
Cut up your chicken parts (I personally prefer dark meat for frying, but it's your call), and soak them in milk or buttermilk for about 10 minutes. You don't need a lot of milk, a cup or so will do; just turn the parts over a couple times. Then roll them in a mixture of flour and the seasoning mixture of your choice. Heat your high-temperature oil (peanut, canola, etc. don't use anything else - it has to be an oil with a high "smoke point") until a drop of water sizzles when you flick the drop into the oil. A cup or so will do. Then add your chicken. Fry for 10 minutes or so at medium heat, turning the meat occasionally until the surfaces are golden brown. Then drain the oil and use it for something else. Cover your Dutch Oven, reduce your heat to low, and bake the chicken about 30 minutes, depending upon the heat of your fire, until the meat is falling off the bone. You could add some pre-cooked rice - plain, spanish, pilaf, etc, which would make a nice table presentation. The cast iron will retain the heat so make sure your fire is low!
Don't eat chicken that is pink or has red juices coming from it; it isn't safe.
And geez, don't add water and uncooked rice, you'll just end up steaming your chicken. The rice should be already cooked! But it will pick up the chicken flavor and become much more savory,
You can also add a teaspoon of sage to the flour mix if everyone likes it.
You can also go over the top and after rolling the chicken parts in flour, put them into beaten eggs and then into seasoned bread crumbs, but personally, I don't think that's any better.