I’ve roasted a chicken many times in a clay baker, and have posted the recipes a few times. Romertopf roasted chicken remains one of the most popular recipes on my blog. I changed up a few of the ingredients this time, and added more vegetables to cook inside the baker.
On a winter’s evening it is a perfect simple and satisfying meal. Impressive too, since it seems like you went to a lot of effort, but it’s actually quite simple, and you don’t need to do any last-minute preparation.
Served with a salad and maybe a nice baguette, it’s the perfect winter meal. And the leftovers are awesome!
What you need:
- 1 free-range chicken
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil (or regular olive oil, or room temperature butter)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- a few stems of fresh rosemary
- a few cloves of garlic
- a few small potatoes
- a small sweet potato or yam
- a few carrots
- 1/2 red or sweet onion
- lemon (optional)
What you do:
- Soak the Romertopf clay roaster for at least 15-20 minutes before using. This provides some moisture for the cooking process, and keeps the roaster from cracking.
- Drain the roaster and place the rosemary stems in the bottom of the roaster, reserving one. Chop the vegetables into chunks and place them in the roaster, leaving an empty spot in the middle around the rosemary.
- Dry the body and cavity of the chicken with paper towel. At the breast of the bird, put your fingers under the skin to separate the skin. Put the rosemary stem and a few springs of thyme under the skin. Salt and pepper the whole chicken.
- Spread some of the garlic-infused olive oil all over the chicken, using your hands. Now sprinkle on some paprika on the chicken.
- If you have a lemon you can stuff it into the cavity of the chicken, along with some thyme.
- Place the chicken in the roaster, breast side up, and tuck the wing tips down so they won’t burn. Throw a few sprigs of thyme on top of the vegetables.
- Place the cover on the roaster, then put it in a cold oven – this is important to prevent the clay roaster from cracking when it goes into a hot oven. Turn the temperature to 4ooF and set the timer for 1 & 1/2 hours. Leave it to roast without peeking; this will help keep all the moisture inside.
- After the 1 & 1/2 hours of cooking time, remove the roaster from the oven. Test the chicken to see if it’s cooked all the way through by cutting into the leg joint: if the juices run clear it is done. If not, return it to the oven for a little longer. As well, if the skin doesn’t look browned, pop it back in without the lid and let it brown a little. Once it is done let it sit with the cover on for about 20 minutes before carving. I like to ladle some of the juices over the chicken, and you could also make a gravy with the juices.
Save the bones and excess juices in the freezer to make a gorgeous stock that you can use to make the best soups.