Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven suddenly everything sticking?

I've been cooking everything from soups and stews to bolognese in my 10-year old enameled cast iron dutch oven, and yesterday I tried to brown some chicken in vegetable oil and it was like GLUE. The bottom of the pan did not even deglaze with broth, either, and after making the caramelized sumac onions and chicken, I had a dark brown gluey sludge that all over the bottom of the pan that was almost impossible to remove even with steel wool (applied gently). I'm not sure what happened--the dish turned out great, I watched it, but the pot is not cooperating with me anymore. Any suggestions?

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Susan W
Susan W May 13, 2015

Did you use enough oil and heat? Also, did you give the chicken enough time? I'm somewhat impatient and chicken always sticks when I rush it. I also find it releases better when I make sure it's very dry. I actually put my chicken on a rack set over a sheet overnight. It's odd that it only happened this one time. Maybe just a fluke?

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ortolan
ortolan May 13, 2015

It was strange because it was boneless thighs. Usually I do wait until that "shellac" forms on the skin and lifts beautifully from the pan, but it just never happened! And then I thought, no worries, I have to deglaze the pan anyway, and that also never really worked. Thanks for the tip, though! I do the same thing with chicken if I have brined it.

Susan W
Susan W May 13, 2015

That is so weird. The part that really puzzles me is that you couldn't even deglaze it.

Pegeen
Pegeen May 14, 2015

I don't know what caused the original problem. Strange, since you used vegetable oil. But if you are still struggling with cleaning the pot, try boiling water in it with a few Tablespoons of white vinegar. Let cool then scrape with a wooden spoon. There are also several good threads on the hotline on cleaning cast iron / Le Creuset.

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