In my las post – In My Kitchen – I mentioned that we got a large clay pot. I put it to use right away, making the most classic item in clay cooking: a whole chicken. It is truly a non-recipe, essentially no work, no special ingredients. Salt and pepper. I added lemon slices just because. The clay pot gets soaked in water for half an hour, drained, and placed with the chicken inside (obviously) in a cold oven. As the oven heats up, the water retained by the porous surface of the pot turns into steam – a lot of steam – contained in the pot. With time moisture is reduced and the pot turns into a real roaster.  You simply cannot beat the texture achieved by this type of cooking, and if you are into crispy skin, no problem, open the lid and let it roast for 10 to 15 more minutes.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 chicken, about 4 pounds
fingerling potatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Soak the clay pot in cold water for 30 minutes.

Pat dry chicken, season liberally with salt and pepper all over, and place lemon slices in the cavity. No need to truss it, but you can do it if you’d like.

Place fingerling potatoes, left whole if small, cut in half lengthwise if big, on the bottom of the clay pot. Add carrots. Use enough veggies to fully cover the bottom of the pot.  Place the chicken on top. Close the lid, and place in a cold oven.

Set the oven to 430 F, and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Open the lid and let it roast for additional 10 to 15 minutes, if you like a more crispy skin.

You can make a simple gravy with all the juices accumulated in the clay pot, or simply drizzle it over the meat.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: It’s so nice to go back to simplicity in cooking. Yes, there’s something to be said about involved sauces and marinades, braises that take every single spice you own, measuring 1/8 of a teaspoon of this, a pinch of that, to the point that you wonder… could I really tell a difference if I left a few of the spices out?  In this preparation, all you need is salt and pepper. You can gild the lily if you prefer, grab that smoked paprika, the fennel, the Herbes de Provence. But consider making it once like this. You’ll be surprised by how flavorful a simple roast chicken can be.

The root veggies will cook and get soaked by the juices, and for that reason I think the lemon is a simple addition that brightens up the flavor.  This was our non-traditional Easter dinner, by the way.  We did not feel like having lamb, a light snow was falling outside, roast chicken was a perfect choice that evening.

Added bonus?  The glazed interior makes cleaning a breeze!

Stay tuned for more adventures in clay pot cooking… I’ve got quite a few things on my list to try soon, including a nice loaf of sourdough bread. If you have a favorite recipe to use the clay pot, please let me know in the comments, will you?

ONE YEAR AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2017

TWO YEARS AGO: Secret Recipe Club: Chicken Korma and a Bonus Recipe

THREE YEARS AGO: Josey Baker’s Olive Bread

FOUR YEARS AGO: Almonds, A Cookbook Review

FIVE  YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

SIX YEARS AGO: Codruta’s Rolled Oat Sourdough Bread

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Roasted Corn and Tomato Risotto

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Light Rye Bread









25 thoughts on “CLAY POT ROAST CHICKEN

  1. That sounds really interesting – thank you for explaining how the clay pot works, I’ve never known so never got the point. It sounds perfect for roasting the whole chicken like that, especially as it encapsulates all the juices (and mess!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sally,

    Can’t wait to see what else you cook up in this. I still have mine from, gulp, the ‘70’s and I never made anything else but chicken (yum) in it. Interested in “branching out” with some other things to try — especially sourdough in the clay pot!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Sally,
    Dumb question here. I get the soaking in water before and the steam produced whilst heating up. But if the lid is on and the interior is glazed how is that steam reaching the chicken?


    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect some of the steam forms inside the pot, not only from the water that stays in the glazed surface but from the chicken itself and whatever liquid is present in marinades or sauces – it will all reach some type of equilibrium in the end, but once you start from a clay vessel that is totally saturated with water, that changes the equation, less steam will escape from what is inside. It’s not just the steam generated by the clay, it ‘s the overall moisture content in the environment, kept more contained by the closed pot.


  4. I have had a clay pot for many years…it is not glazed inside..but works very well.One of my favorite recipes…is for cubed lamb shoulder seasoned with salt,pepper and summer savoury..Sliced potatoes tossed with sautéed leeks,..half potatoes in bottom of pot. Lamb on top and rest of potatoes on top.Cook as for your chicken. It always gets rave reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it could be interesting to try cooking biriyani in your clay pot. The steam set up seems ideal for the “dum” style of cooking biriyani if you seal the sides with some dough. “Dum” is supposed to seal in the steam that wonderfully cooks the meat and rice together along with locking in the flavors from the spices. The clay will add additional flavor to the rice.

    Liked by 1 person

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