This succulent chicken is so easy and needs no attention thanks to a clay pot roaster!
The Versatile Clay Pot
It was just recently that I found out how useful my clay roaster was.
I got it years ago on clearance at QVC. It remained unused on a shelf gathering dust. In fact, I was going to give it away because I thought I’d never use it.
Then I read recently about how good it was for roasting a chicken and I said, “Hey I have one of those!” So I dusted it off and finally used it.
Years ago, these roasters were porous through and through, but more modern terra cotta bakers are now glazed on the bottom for ease of cleaning. However they cook every bit as well as their ancestors.
The model I have is no longer available at QVC. I really liked the results so I bought a larger Romertopf, which I understand is the premier brand, from Amazon.
Cooks Faster And Uses Less Fat
My chicken was done in 90 minutes and that’s pretty quick for roast chicken.
The deal is, it cooks at a higher temperature than open-pan roasting and the reason the chicken is so succulent is the way the pot cooks. First you have to soak the pan by fully immersing it in water for about 30 minutes before you use it. You don’t preheat the oven–you put the pot in a cold oven so it comes up to temperature gradually. And since it’s saturated with water, the slow release of steam as the pan dries produces juicy meat.
Another boon is because the way the pan cooks, you don’t have to use any added fat or oils. And don’t worry about the pan browning–it does a wonderful job! My chicken was golden brown at the end of the cook time. I did want the skin a bit crispier and the tip sheet that came with the pot said you can roast for an additional 15 minutes with the top off. That did the trick!
A Staple For Cool Weather Cooking
Now that cooler weather is on the way and we’ll be doing more oven cooking, this pan will come in handy. Remember, it’s not just for chicken! You can make your pot roasts in it, stews and most casseroles.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 1 tbs dijon mustard
- 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 medium (4-5 lb) roasting chicken
- 2 heads garlic, peeled but cloves left whole
- 10 fingerling potatoes
- 3 carrots, cut in chunks
- ½ cup dry white wine (I used white merlot)
- Soak the baker and lid for 30 minutes in cold water.
- In a small bowl, mix olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, herbs and salt & pepper. Rub HALF of this mixture over the chicken. Toss the remaining mixture with the vegetables
- Place chicken in prepared roaster, breast side up and surround the chicken with the vegetables. Pour the wine around the chicken and over the vegetables.
- Place the cover on the baker and place in cold oven.
- Set oven to 450℉ and cook for 90 minutes.
- Remove the lid and cook chicken another 10-15 minutes to crisp and further brown.
- Let chicken rest about 15 minutes before carving.
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