Thursday, March 14, 2013

Clay Pot Chicken For Dinner, Why Not?!

Clay pot cooking has been around for centuries and I only caught onto it when we lived in Belgium a few years ago and my friend, Cecile bought me this Romertopf clay chicken casserole dish.  I had seen it at a restaurant where my interest was piqued and I wanted to try it as well.  It was on a much smaller scale but Cecile hooked me up when she bought me the pot.  Here’s the instructions for the most mouth watering, juicy, flavorful chicken you can cook in an oven.

1 whole chicken (I use around 5 lbs so I can have leftovers)
Your favorite “chicken” spices (I used rosemary, Lawry’s Season Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and a smidge of regular salt, all up to you and what you like)


The first time you use your clay pot you need to soak the lid and bottom for about 2 hours.  This helps create the moisture that will be transferred to your chicken as it cooks, that way the chicken will be moist from the moisture from the pot. 

After you soak your pot you need to rinse off your chicken and then season it with the herbs and spices you have chosen.  Just an fyi, I did not use more than 1/8 tsp of each seasoning on my chicken, except for the rosemary.  

Place the chicken with the BREAST SIDE DOWN into the pot.  The reason you need to do this is that the breast is the driest meat on the bird and if you place it upside down in the pot, the moisture will naturally gravitate that direction as well.  Add more seasonings if you like, adjust them to where you think that you would like then place the lid on the pot.   

Turn the oven on NOW to 425.  I cook my 5 lbs chicken about 1.5 hours. 
After 1.5 hours, I take the pot out of the oven and sit it on the stove.  It will still continue to cook the chicken because of the heat and steam that are built up inside the pot-so be forewarned, it will be VERY hot when it is opened and also full of steam.  I use oven mitts and a butter knife on the opposite side of the pot, to take the lid off so that the steam does not hit my face. 

Next, grab a couple of tongs or the lifters that you use when you take a turkey out and position them under the bird, lifting gently onto a platter.  Slice or quarter as desired.

I also like to change things up every now and again and instead of seasonings, I open a can of cream of chicken soup and cream of celery soup and spread over the top then cook the same way.  The reason I do this is so that I can use the juices that have dripped off of the meat in a gravy or sauce.  You can siphon out the fat so that it is less caloric if you like.  I do. 

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