The weatherman hates me. Once Labor Day is over, I’m ready for Fall! I’m ready for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkins, apple crisp, sweaters, and SOUP! It’s my favorite season. But Mr. Weatherman won’t let the temperature drop. Well, Mr. Weatherman, we have this thing called air conditioning. So there!
Normally, roasted whole chickens are cheaper to buy at the grocery store than the raw ones. They’re good, but I like to add my own flavors and seasonings. Plus, I found a two pack on sale! Look at me– bargain shopping and stuff.
Roasting your own chicken really doesn’t take too much effort. The secret’s in the pot. I found mine at a discount store like Ross or TJ Maxx. I’ve seen them at second-hand stores. Know why? Because they intimidate people for some reason. Why be intimidated? These things are super easy to use, even easier to clean, and will last FOREVER. Seriously. My Mom still has one she picked up in France on a high school trip. (That’s right– back in the day, high school seniors got to go on cool class trips to other countries. We got to go to the local amusement park. Not as amusing!)
Anywhoo, the clay pot is first soaked in clean cool water for 15 minutes. this allows the clay to absorb water. The water is slowly released as the pot is heated, creating a steamy environment for the chicken. The clay also helps to brown the skin. Steamy and brownie chicken. Well, that sounded more appetizing in my head.
The best thing about this recipe– you don’t have to preheat your oven. Don’t do it. The clay needs to heat and expand slowly. If you preheat the oven, the clay could crack. And no one wants a naked chicken running loose in their oven. Well, no one sane anyway.
The other cool thing is that if you have a small gathering for Thanksgiving, this is the PERFECT method for making a tender, juicy, delicious turkey breast. You can also do pork and beef roasts, too. 😉
Clay Oven Chicken
- 3-4 lb. Young Chicken
- 3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Seasoning, divided (I used a 50/50 combo of lemon pepper and seasoned salt)
- 1 small lemon, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- Fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme, optional
- Soak your pot in cool water for 15 minutes. Soak both the base and the lid.
- While pot is soaking, rinse and dry your chicken. Be sure to remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Don’t be afraid of it– it’s dead. And it’s probably not a zombie, so it won’t bite you. Probably….
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Drain the inside as well as you can. I like to stuff a couple of paper towels in there– just be sure to get them all out. Paper towel chicken is not good.
- Sprinkle the inside cavity with about 1 tsp of seasoning. Add the garlic cloves, lemon halves, and fresh herbs (if using).
- Spread 1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp Olive Oil on the back of the chicken. Spread around with your fingers like you’re giving Mr. Chicken a massage. Sprinkle with half the remaining seasoning.
- Drain the clay pot base and set the chicken inside, breast side up. Drizzle the remaining Olive Oil over the chicken and massage it in. Sprinkle the last of the seasoning over the top.
- Drain the lid of the clay pot and put it on top. Place the whole thing in your oven. Be sure the rack is set to the lower third so there’s plenty of room around the clay pot.
- Set your oven to 500°F and WALK AWAY. Don’t peek. Don’t open the oven door. Just let it be for 90 minutes.
- After the 90 minutes is up, carefully remove the clay pot from the oven and set on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove the lid and use tongs to remove the chicken. Cut up and serve. I like mine cave-man style– a leg, ripped off the bird, using no utensils. I do use a napkin.
Is it cave-man style with the napkin?