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+ servings

Fall Apart Dutch Oven Chicken

This chicken is so succulent, juicy, tender-as-can-be! Delectable on its own and in dozens of other recipes.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword comfort food recipes for fall and winter, chicken for family dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 411 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • 2 teaspooons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 approximately (3½ pound) whole chicken
  • about 2 teaspoons grapeseed or other neutral oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F and adjust a rack to the middle.

  2. In a small dish, combine the salt, cinnamon, cloves and star anise.

  3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and then gently loosen the skin all over, being as careful as possible not to tear it. Sprinkle all but about ¼ teaspoon of the spice mixture as evenly as possible under the skin, all over. Use your fingers to rub it in. Then sprinkle the rest on top of the skin, along with the oil and gently rub that in as well.

  4. Place the seasoned chicken in an approximately 4 quart Dutch oven, breast side down, cover, and place it in the preheated 250°F oven. Let it cook until it literally falls apart when you try to lift any part of it, about 4 hours.

  5. Take off the the lid, and let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle.

  6. Remove the skin — it should come right off, and then use your hands or a fork to help the chicken fall apart. This should happen pretty effortlessly just by picking up the legs. You can leave it in large pieces or shred it into bite-sized pieces.

  7. Once the chicken has been removed from all of the bones, drizzle it with some of the juices remaining in the Dutch oven.