Saturday, March 16th, 2013 at
This is a roast chicken recipe with a twist because it is cooked in a terracotta pot. I have three terracotta or clay pots, one is a smaller Romertopf, one is a larger Crofton terracotta pot and the third being an unglazed potato pot. The Crofton and the unglazed pots are new but the Romertopf is one I have had for many many years. I used to cook a whole chicken in this pot a lot but over the years I had pushed it back into the cupboard. I found it again and started using it and love it all over again. Here is the recipe for my version and note I use a small chicken that will serve 3 as this is the right amount for this pot. Don’t be tempted to overload your clay pot beyond three quarters full.
Roast Chicken and Vegetables
1 small whole raw chicken
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
Seasoned salt (optional)
3 carrots cut into thick pieces lengthways
4 small red potatoes, cut in half
1 parsnip cut the same as the carrots
1 onion cut into quarters
Clove of garlic (whole)
1 tsp french mustard
2 sprigs lemon thyme and parsley
1 small whole onion
Soak the clay pot in water for 20 -30 minutes and drain. Add the cut vegetables and the garlic, except for the potatoes, to the bottom of the pot then rub the salt and the oil into the chicken and push the whole onion, the mustard, thyme and parsley into the chicken cavity and tie with string or secure with poultry skewers.
Add the potatoes around the chicken so they stay out of the juices. I face the cut side towards to sides of the clay pot so they brown well. Put the lid on the terracotta pot and place into a cold oven. Heat the oven to 400F (200C) and cook for 1.5 hours. If you find the chicken not browned enough then you can take off the lid and cook another 10 minutes more.
I like to use the juices to make a gravy to serve with the roast chicken. You will love the vegetables cooked this way as they have so much flavor from the chicken juices. You will love this roast chicken cooked in a terracotta pot as it cooks itself really, no turning the potatoes over or basting the chicken, its just so easy.
Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at
The clay pot is not as popular as the slow cooker but still produces lovely meals for your family. I love using clay pots for cooking as they retain the flavor and nutrients of the food I am cooking. Whether you are using unglazed or unglazed pots you will gt a good result by slow cooking.
Here are 10 advantages of the clay pot for cooking:
- Meats cook well and stay moist and tender due to the steaming affect of the cooking process.
- You can use your clay baker in the microwave as well as on the stove top and the oven.
- Food browns well in the clay even with the lid on (although I do take the lid off for the last 10 minutes for meats).
- Unglazed pots should be your choice if using tougher cuts of meat or when microwaving.
- Glazed clay pots are perfect for lasagna and baked foods.
- Minimal washing up with clay pots as you just need to wash them with a nylon brush or scourer and warm water.
- There is a good choice of clay pot cookers on the market.
- Clay is a natural product so is safe to use for cooking your food in.
- If you care for your clay pot it should last you for years (One of mine is over 10 years old).
- No need to add extra fats like cooking oil to your cooking so it will brown so less calories.
In Morocco the clay pot is called a tagine but those available in the US are glazed for easier cleaning. Also bean pots have become very popular and these are usually unglazed. Either way the use of the clay pot is the way to go for healthy natural cooking with minimal fat.
Oh and another advantage is that you can use the juices from your pot to make the very best gravy oh yum! If you have a clay pot get it out and cook with it today.
Friday, March 8th, 2013 at
This slow cooker chicken soup recipe is easy to make and has the added flavor of the herbs, rosemary and thyme. You make the stock while making the soup. I soften the vegetables before adding them but this step is optional. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can slow cook this recipe on the stove top in a large heavy pot and reduce the cooking time to 2 hours. This soup is very good for your health as it contains garlic, rosemary, thyme and of course chicken which are all good for lowering anxiety and stress. I hope you like it as much as my family do.
Soften the vegetables
Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Rosemary and Thyme
6 raw chicken drumsticks
Water to cover the chicken (approx 5 – 6 cups)
2 sprigs rosemary and thyme (tied together with string)
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 medium carrots (diced)
1 stalk celery (keep the leaves)
1 leek, chopped (use only the white part and wash well)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt and pepper (to your taste)
2 tbs Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
Place the chicken and the water into the slow cooker. Make sure the chicken is covered. Add the rosemary and thyme and the bay leaf. Note you can also tie the bay leaf with the other herbs but optional. Heat a frying pan and add the olive oil. Add the vegetables to the pan until they are soft but not browned. Add them then to the slow cooker and add the salt and pepper and lightly stir through. Cover the pot and cook on low for 5 hours.
Tie together the rosemary and thyme
Remove the chicken from the pot and remove the meat. Add this back to the slow cooker and heat through for another hour. Remove the tied herbs and the bay leaf. This soup is best cooled and any fat removed before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and the celery tops that have also been chopped up for a lovely garnish and serve with crusty bread and a salad for a complete meal. You can also add 1 cup of noodles to the pot when you remove the chicken for a chicken and noodle soup.
Note: See image of tied herbs – leave some string to help you remove it at the end of the cooking cycle.
This slow cooker chicken soup is easy to make and tastes fantastic and has the benefit of being good for you too. Divide into portions and freeze any left over soup for lunches.