Old Clay Chicky – works just fine!

Saturday was fun. Chilebrown & Ms. Goofy showed up at my door before 8 am for a trip to the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco. We took separate cars, I followed. Man, it was cold, windy and cold. Even so, we met up with a gaggle of local food bloggers, was nice. The best part though was giving Taylor of Fatted Calf 2 hugs! I don’t get over to SF that often, once every 2 years or so. It was special. On the way back, decided to hit up the Berkeley Farmer’s Market and knabbed me a large pork steak from Ted of Highland Hills, talked with Eric the knife guy and chatted with another pair of food bloggers. A great morning indeed.
On the way back home stopped by the old family stronghold, where Grampa, Gramma & Uncle Ralph live. I had some mail to pick up, truck registration & a few food mags. Gramma asked Gramps is they should give the clay chicken cooker to me. They asked and I said, “sure”. I already have a clay cooker, but what the hell.
I had no idea it was the 30+ year old fambly cooker from eons ago. No idea. When I saw it a chill ran down my spine and couldn’t believe it. I mean, my sister and I grew up with that damned thing.
As you can see it’s pretty well used, oh yes. It’s got a glaze on the inside, top & bottom. It’s thick too, not some cheapass rig, plus it’s got a lip to help seal it tight. Nicely done!
Was considering doing a pork roast, the pork steak or a chicken. Turns out the chicken was the most doable for dinner. I don’t normally do veggies in the bottom, too much moisture for an open roasting situation and the bottom of the meat gets all gray and not caramelly. But this clay roaster is all about the moisture.
In the bottom went a few little carrots, half an onion and about 9 cloves of Big D’s home-grown garlic, 3 chugs of Zin and the last bit of chicken broth. I shouldn’t have done the chicken broth, I’d forgotten how much liquid shows up in the final product, oh well. These are the things I have to learn to suffer through. Salt the chicken, I used dried basil, but who cares. It’s all good. And of course you gotta add the butter!
I felt like setting the oven to 375 and after a half hour, installed the covered chicky.
How’d it taste? No, better than that, much better. The red wine, garlic, and rich chicken flavors were absolutely amazing. Amazing with a capital A.
To finish it up, I pulled the chicken out, put the juices in a fry pan and reduced it. Then hit it with an immersion blender to make a rustic “sauce”. Chicken never tasted so good!

11 thoughts on “Old Clay Chicky – works just fine!

  1. Oh, that’s too cool. Is it like a Romertopf? We soak our Romertopf in water (and then empty it) before roasting chicky and veg in there, with copious glugs of white wine. The leftover sludge is pure gelatin.
    Biggles sounds happy.
    It was good to see you.

  2. OH boo hoo…cold and windy. It was 15′ below zero this morning in Denver. I can’t think about this real food, I go to Taco Bell and get me a 40 too.

  3. And to think – I was just going to marinate my chicken in tikka masala! I bet it would taste ten gazillion times better if I cooked it in a clay cooker shaped like a chicken.

  4. The pleasure of your cooked chicky is second only to the frontal view of the lady in question: your chicky cooker. I would save it just for those luscious, moist bodies. You’re a lucky man. Family treasures are rare these days — you’re a lucky man.

  5. I bought a yardbird tonight at our local stupormarket. Not a single whole chicken to be found. Ended up buying a “cut up” whole chicken.
    I think that processor uses drunk monkeys with chain saws to cut up their poultry. Amazingly poor job of following the joints on the bird.