is a unique piece of cookware. It doesn’t have a long handle, which separates itself from a classic frying pan, and it is not tall enough to be classified as a stock pot.
But it is everything in between these two pieces, which makes it an essential item to have in your kitchen. Its large surface area makes it perfect for searing and sauteing, and its thoughtfully designed walls make it ideal for reducing and braising.
And the best part is that all of these actions can be done in the same pan and result in a beautifully crafted dish. Cooking a braised, spatchcock chicken is a great example of Rondeau's versatility.
Searing your meat first does two things. First, it renders fat, which serves as a base for your veggies to sauté in, and second, it makes the skin nice and crispy. Since a Rondeau has a large surface area, it is the ideal tool for it.
Every inch of the chicken’s skin will be in contact with the surface, producing a glass-like crispy skin. Once the skin is nice and golden brown, remove it from the pan. You should be left with wonderful fond (stuck on food bits that are left on the pan).
Next, it’s time to add your vegetables. You can add anything you’d like, but we like starting off with onion or shallots, which will naturally deglaze the pan, releasing the fond (see definition above).
You can then add carrots, squash, tomatoes, and more. Once your vegetables are cooked down, it’s time to add your braising liquid. Whether you use wine, stock, or a combination of both, this liquid will not only add flavor to your dish, it will slowly cook your chicken as well.
Once added, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan to free up any fond that the vegetables were unable to get to. A Rondeau is perfect for this as the walls aren’t too high yet aren’t too shallow where you have to worry about liquid overflowing. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer.
Once the liquid has reached a gentle simmer, place your chicken in the Rondeau. You don’t want it to be fully submerged. Instead, you want the liquid to come up just to the skin. Place it in a 400F oven for around 25-30 minutes. The chicken will slowly cook in the liquid and flavor it while becoming incredibly tender.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and reduce your liquid. This is where you can take some liberty. If you want a glossy sauce, reduce it down a fair amount and whisk in some butter at the end. If you’re going to cook some rice or pasta, add more liquid to your pan (if needed), and throw in your grains to cook in this wonderfully seasoned and aromatic broth.
Don’t forget to check for seasoning at the end. This is just one way you can use a Rondeau to craft a dish. We also love using them for braising short ribs, searing meats for Sunday Gravy, or pan-frying eggplant for eggplant parm.