Clay Baker Chicken

IMG_3044When my parents first moved to Thetis in the late 70’s, after having summered on the island since the early 60’s, they moved into a small trailer while they built their home.  They also built small chicken & duck houses, and bought chickens and ducks, a few at a time, ‘til they had a flock.  Along with this endeavor came the learned art of poultry butchery.

I would travel over every couple of weeks for a few island days away from my Vancouver life.  One of my favourite meals was this chicken.  It was never made from a store bought bird; always from a young rooster who’s destiny was in the pot.  I still use the same clay baker – one is all you’ll need for the rest of your life, an incredible investment. 

Click here for printable version.

For 4

Ingredients

2½ # chicken thighs (skin on – bone in), about 8

2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters

4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

4 carrots or a mix of carrots and parsnips, peeled and cut into rods

bay leaf

sprig of rosemary

salt & pepperIMG_3038

Directions

Soak the clay baker (completely submersed) for 20 minutes.

Check that the oven rack is set in the lower half of the oven.

Do not dry the baker; simply arrange the ingredients as follows in the damp baker.

Arrange the vegetables in the bottom of the base of the clay baker.

Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables, imbedding the bay leaf & rosemary within.IMG_3033

Season the top of the chicken with salt & pepper.

Cover with the top half of the baker.

Put the baker in a cold oven.  Turn on the heat to 425° F.

Cook for 1 hr and 15 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes to crisp the chicken.

The vegetables have been cooked in the moisture from both the chicken and their own juices.  IMG_3045

Serve with potatoes that have been roasted along side the baker.  I used small potatoes, cut in half, and tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary.  I roasted them for the final 45 minutes of the baking time for the chicken.IMG_3042

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