Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clay Pot Chicken for Easy Entertaining

Clay Pot Chicken
Treasured cookware is the theme this month for Recipe Redux.  I decided to pull out my clay cooker that my oldest brother gave me over 25 years ago.  It’s a Romertopf clay baker.

Romertopf Clay Baker

Clay pots have been around for centuries in all parts of the world. Clay pot cooking can be healthy as some recipe call for very little fat. The moisture in the pot (from soaking) helps the cooked food stay moist, making your finished dish more flavorful, tender and succulent.

I decided to do a classic baked chicken using one of the recipes that came with the dish. However, I modified it (imagine that) to use chicken parts instead of a whole chicken and I added more veggies.   I used chicken thighs and split chicken breasts that were both on sale. This recipe is perfect for entertaining company because everything gets cooked together in one pot. You can assemble the dish ahead of time and then it cooks, unattended, for about an hour and 15 minutes. No basting or watching  required.

According to The Best of Clay Pot Cooking by Dana Jacobi, there are six rules of cooking in clay.
Clay Pot Cooking by Dana Jacobi

  1. Always soak unglazed pots completely submerged in water before using. Soak new pots for 30 minutes; after that, 15 minutes.
  2. Never subject a clay pot to quick or extreme changes in temperature. (That’s why you put it in a cold oven and bring it up to the desired temperature.) Don’t add cold liquid to a hot pot.
  3. When opening a pot after cooking, tilt the cover away from you to prevent steam from hitting your face.
  4.  Use long oven-proof mitts when handling a hot clay pot. 
  5. Don’t store food in a clay pot; the flavors will seep into the clay.
  6.  Never use scouring powder or steel wool on a clay pot. Scrub with a fiber or nylon pad(or a stiff brush).

Individual Serving of Clay Pot Chicken

Here is the complete recipe.
Clay Pot Chicken

1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
3 inner stalks and leaves of celery
4 lbs. chicken parts (with or without skin)
Non-stick cooking spray
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Soak clay dish in water to cover for 15 minutes. Place, onion, sweet potato, gold potatoes, carrot, and celery onto bottom of clay pot. Place chicken pieces in single layer on top of vegetables.  Spray chicken with non-stick spray and season top of pieces with rosemary and thyme. Cover and place in cold oven turned to 450 degrees for about 75 minutes, or until chicken registers 165 degrees on meat thermometer.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
301 calories, 8 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 86 mg cholesterol, 4 g dietary fiber, 31 g protein, and 153 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein, vitamin A and C, niacin and B-6 and a good source of riboflavin, thiamin, and fiber.

Cost per Serving: $1.41

Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices except  potatoes which were on sale for $2.99 for a 5-pound bag.