Roasted Chicken and Vegetables in a Clay Baker

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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
  • paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread some of the garlic-infused olive oil all over the chicken, using your hands. Now sprinkle on some paprika on the chicken.
  5. If you have a lemon you can stuff it into the cavity of the chicken, along with some thyme.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

Roasted Fennel and Root Vegetables

roasted fennel and root vegetables - trust in kim

These veggies smell great as they are roasting, and they were fabulous alongside a roast chicken. So easy, and a delicious comfort food on a cold winter night.  Feel free to add more or less of any of the vegetables, or omit some altogether.

What you need:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 large or 2 medium potatoes
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 3-4 small beets, peeled
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  If you’ve just roasted a chicken, as I did, put the bird aside with a cover on to rest just before you put the vegetables in the oven.
  2. Scrub, then chop the vegetables into pieces that are about 4cm.  The sweet potato can be a little bigger, as it cooks faster. Put them all on a baking sheet and drizzle with some olive oil.
  3. Roast for about 10 minutes, then take them out of the oven and toss them around a bit.  Return to the oven and let them cook for another 10 minutes, or until they have browned nicely.
  4. Salt and pepper the vegetables, then serve immediately.

Roast Chicken in a Romertopf Clay Roaster

I love a roast chicken because it’s delicious, you can cook a whole meat in one dish, and you get to make soup out of the bones.  I have a Romertopf clay baker, but had never used it for cooking a chicken – if you don’t have one, you can use any other covered dish that fits a chicken and all these veggies.  I found this to be a great dish to make for company, because I could throw it in the oven an hour before anyone came over, and then I had time to do some of the last minute jobs, such as relaxing a bit.

What you need:

a whole roasting chicken

1 lemon

a few springs of thyme

salt and pepper

a few potatoes

a sweet potato

a few carrots

1 bulb of garlic

1 onion

butter or olive oil

a few splashes of white wine (optional)

What you do:

1. Immerse the Romertopf  in water for 15-30 minutes.  This needs to be done to avoid cracking when it is in the oven.

2.  Cut up all the veggies and place them in the bottom of the roaster.  I also placed some around the sides of the chicken.

3.  Run your fingers between the skin and breast of the chicken to loosen the skin up.  Push a few springs of thyme under the skin.  Rub the chicken with a little butter or olive oil.  Place it, breast side up, in the roaster.  Stick the lemon whole or cut in half into the cavity of the chicken.  Salt and pepper the chicken and veggies liberally, and add a few splashes of wine.  Add some more thyme on top of the veggies.  I also put in a rosemary branch.  Put the lid on top of the baking dish.

4.  Place the Romertopf baker in a cold oven, then turn it up to 400F.  If you are using another type of baker, feel free to preheat the oven.  Let the chicken bake for 1 & 1/2 hours.  I didn’t even peek at mine, hoping for the best, and it turned out perfect.  Mine browned with the lid on, but if you find yours is still a little pale, feel free to pop it back in the oven for a few minutes.

5.  Let the chicken rest for about 20 minutes with the lid on before carving it.

There was quite a bit of liquid in the bottom of the baking dish, so I pulled the chicken out and drained it.  Because the chicken is literally ‘falling off the bone,’ it was a little difficult to take it out whole, so you could use a turkey baster to remove the liquid.

See this link for chicken broth.  You can use the bones and skin instead of the chicken pieces the recipe calls for.  If you didn’t make gravy with it, you could also add the juices that were drained off.