Monday, December 28, 2009

Clay Pot Cooking

Have you experienced clay pot cooking? It is a must. The food is cooked in a clay pot that is soaked in water and then baked in a fast oven. All manner of foods can be cooked in this way from breads and deserts to chicken and seafood. Follow the directions carefully for your clay pot and always start with a cold oven. Last night we made clay pot chicken. The recipe is adapted from the recipe "beggar's chicken" in the book "The Complete Guide to Claypot Cooking" by Bridget Jones.

Take 8 "bone-in" chicken thighs and score them across the top. Marinate in:
8 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4-1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
heaping 1/2 tsp. five spice powder
1/2 tsp. white pepper
4 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tsp. grated ginger root

cover chicken with marinade and let stand for at least 5 hours.
Soak clay pot for 15 minutes in cold water.
put the chicken and marinade in the clay pot and cover with lid.
Put the covered clay pot in a cold oven and set for 475 degrees
Cook 35 minutes, then remove lid and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

We serve with rice or pasta and a green salad. It is a heavenly use of inexpensive cuts of chicken. We buy the bulk "family-pack" of thighs for almost nothing.

We will be raising and butchering at least 25 "meat" birds next spring. We plan on getting the "freedom-ranger" variety available from J.M. Hatchery or a similar free range meat variety.

The commercial Cornish Cross meat birds don't appeal to us as a meat flock bird, as they gain weight so quickly that they are not able to wander around and act like chickens.

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