Recipe: Clay Pot Chicken & Rice
Since JC met my friend Kathy, he's relinquished his single man status and cooks his specialty for her on a regular basis. While the pot soaked, I watched him prepare the chicken and studied the book he provided me: “The Complete Guide to Claypot Cooking" (Bridget Jones, Salamander Books, London). According to the book, "...Claypot cookery is, in essence, a means of creating full-flavored dishes with the minimum of effort...Using terra cotta pots that have been soaked in water prior to cooking, is one of the oldest traditions and dates back to Roman times...The soaked pots absorb water which generates moisture during cooking creating a unique cooking environment." This seals in flavor and keeps food from drying out, so there is no need to add extra fat.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Roast Time: 90-180 minutes
- 1 4 & 1/2 quart, clay pot cooker
- 2 cups long cook rice (a rice that cooks in 30-45 minutes)
- Specified amount* of liquid such as wine, stock, water or a combination
- 1 1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 1 cup carrots cut into 1/2 inch coins
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, left whole
- 1 4-5 pound, whole roasting chicken
- 2 tablespoons dry, crushed rosemary
- 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, sliced into thin pieces
- 1 medium sized yellow onion,peeled but left whole (optional)
*Whatever rice you use; halve the liquid requirement on packaging. (2 cups of the rice I used called for 4 1/2 cups of liquid, therefore I only used 2 1/4 cups.)
1. Soak unglazed clay according to manufacturers’ directions, approximately 15 minutes.
2. Combine rice, liquid, mushrooms, carrots, and Brussels sprouts at bottom of pot. Combine rosemary, salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper (adding additional pepper to taste), and rub inside chicken cavity. Lift up chicken skin and rub under skin, then over the exterior skin. Stick pieces of butter under skin over breast. Place chicken over rice mixture.
3. Place bay leaf in back of cavity and stuff with onion, if using; tie chicken legs together with string or kitchen twine.
4. Cover pot with lid and place on middle rack of a cold oven. Turn on heat to 450 degrees and cook 1 1/2- 2 1/2 hours; or until chicken juices run clear when thigh is pierced. (Note for a crisp skin, remove lid in last 10-15 minutes of cooking time, although chicken skin will be golden brown if you omit this step.)
5. Remove onion, chop and stir into rice.(Note onion with still be firm.)Pour residual juices from cavity onto a serving platter. Carve chicken and serve with juices and rice mixture. (Note that the leftovers make a marvelous chicken and rice soup.)
This recipe was adapted by Peggy Lampman and originally posted on AnnArbor.com on Feb. 23, 2012.