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Chicken in a Clay Pot Cooker - meat

Posted by : David Sternlight

"The Sephardic Kitchen" by Rabbi Robert Sternberg 
(ISBN 0-06-017691-1),  Harper Collins 1996 and VERY highly 
recommended, has a wonderful recipe for clay pot chicken. 
Since book recipes are copyright and I don't want to spoil 
Rabbi Steinberg's royalities, I'll  give a summary:

Soak clay pot 15 minutes in cold water. Take a whole chicken,
salt and pepper it. Shove a raw lemon, pierced all over with 
a fork, into the carcass. Put in the clay pot and stuff with
thyme, whole garlic cloves, and a basting of 3 Tbsp olive oil
and 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice. Cover and put in a cold oven 
and set temperature to 450 degrees. Cook 15 min. Turn down to
350 degrees and roast, still covered, for a further hour and
a half. Test for doneness with a toothpick in the thigh (be
sure to use oven gloves--the clay gets very hot. If the juices
are yellow it's done. For more crispy, put pot back for about 
10 or 15 minutes uncovered.

Remove from oven with oven gloves and place on a wooden 
surface or straw/fabric mat, but not a cold counter. Let the 
pot cool before coming into contact with cold surfaces or 
cold water, so it won't crack. Do not put the pot in a 
dishwasher but wash by hand with a little dishwashing liquid 
or a baking soda/water paste. Let dry in the open air before 
putting away.

Clay pots may be bought in ethnic stores quite cheaply, or 
you can get the luxury "Romertopf" in gourmet kitchen supply 
stores such as Williams-Sonoma by trading in your first-born 
son.

Archivist's note: Brian Mailman contributed the following 
suggestion to the original post.  "If I may add to these a 
safety note--when you take the lid off from the bottom, do it 
with the far side up first.  That is, lift the lid so the 
steam (remember, there's quite a head of steam in there 
baking at 450:F and all that) escapes _away_ from you."

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