Last night, Sanne and I made our periodic pilgrimage to St. Augustine. Well, not the real St. Augustine, but the mall in Burlington, which has a Chic-fil-a and is across from a Chili's which is parking lot adjacent to a Barnes & Noble. Like St. Augustine. Get it? Anyway, we popped into the mall before dinner to check out a couple stores and ended up spending 2 hours in 3 stores. The most damage was done in Williams-Sonoma, where I scored a Le Creuset at a sweet $100 off the original price.
Although they did have the tagine I've been eyeing, I decided one big purchase in a day was enough. Plus I've got school books to buy. :/
I also came across something interesting-- roasting clay. Basically, you dress your chicken, wrap it in parchment paper and cover it in this clay and bake it. Kind of like in ye olden times. It sounded simple enough, interesting and was on sale for $4, so we thought that it would be a fun Sunday afternoon activity. Not to mention, playing with clay is something these art majors hadn't had a chance to do in several years. :(
Here it is:
So, using the recipe on the box as a guide, we combined lemon zest, thyme, chopped shallots, chopped green onion, s+p, and a little garlic with 1/2 a stick of room temperature butter.
While Shamus looked on, curiously.
This was smeared under the skin of the chicken, who we'll call Henrietta.
Then, we wrapped her in parchment paper-- seam/boobies down.
Although the clay was already rolled and oval-ed, Sanne rolled it out a little more, so that it would fit Henrietta. We just had to be careful not to make it too thin, otherwise it might crack in the oven.
Then, we pinched the clay closed. There were two pieces in the box-- one for the bottom and one for the top. We also did our best to get rid of any air inside.
This was lots of fun. It's nice to have clay under my nails again...
We popped the clay-chicken in the oven at 425 for 1hr 20min while we started the potatoes in a cast iron skillet. We cooked these with chopped shallots, lemon juice and a little white truffle oil.
Once those were almost fork tender, we added them to a baking dish of green beans, threw in some lemon wedges and a couple sprigs of thyme and set it aside until there was about 35 min left for the chicken.
When time was up, we pulled the chicken out and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then came the fun part!
|it cracked a little...|
The chicken wasn't quite finished, so we got rid of the clay and cooked it a little longer. Finally, it was time to carve and serve.
|Could it be? My favorite side dish of all time? Yes.|
This was one of the juicier chickens I've tasted. The dark meat was especially flavorful. And now we can check "cooking with clay" off of our list of things to do.
Sanne used her purchase of the night --a Le Creuset baking dish-- to make some of her awesome brownies. This time, she mixed in some hazelnuts and topped with sea salt. Yum!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some chicken stock to make.
What's the most unusual cooking technique you've tried?