Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Roast Chicken in Clay Baker

My mother made chicken like using a clay baker when I grew up, and has always been my favorite version. Today, clay bakers are retro but making a comeback, since they are also great for bread baking to create a crisp crust. Retro or not, it is a great way to roast chicken without added fat or liquids, but cook in its own juices. The idea is that the clay cast is soaked in water for 30 min before roasting the chicken (this is very important when you put the clay baker in the hot oven; if it is not soak it will crack). The absorbed moisture also develops steam inside the baker and roasts the chicken. Removing the lid during the last 30 minutes makes sure the chicken has a brown crisp skin. Love it!

Roast chicken in clay baker

special equipment: clay baker
1 thawed organic chicken, washed and patted dry
salt, pepper
10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
sweet paprika

Soak clay baker in warm water for 30 min. Preheat oven at 375F.

Rub the patted dry chicken with salt, pepper and the sweet paprika. Fill the garlic cloves inside the chicken cavities. Remove clay baker from water, dry with a towel, and place chicken in the bottom part of the clay baker. Close the clay baker with its lid, and place in oven. Increase heat to 425F, and bake for 90min. After 90min, remove clay pot from oven, remove lid, and place clay baker back into the oven for another 30min. Turn off heat, and serve chicken!

For a skinny version, discard the fat collected in the bottom of the clay baker. However, it is very tasty, of course, served over some mashed potatoes...

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