I believe every real german my age knows the clay pot “Römertopf” from the seventies and early eighties – if not from his Mom, then at least from his Grandma. It was very widespread then and everyone I know can remember that thing. Nowadays it became somewhat forgotten compared to it’s former popularity, but it’s still present enough that I got one for a reasonable price these days and of course had to give it a try.

I made a recipe that I found on YouTube some time ago, but I could not find it anymore, so I just made it from memory (Sir, if you read this, please make contact so I can post the link). Nonetheless it turned out fine – not perfect, but perfectly ok for the first time with a new utensil.



1 whole chicken
6 – 7 shallots, cut in half lengthwise
4 – 5 potatoes, cut into wedges
Salt & Pepper


200 ml olive oil
80 ml not too acidic vinegar (I used white balsamico)
5 cloves of garlic
1 handful of fresh oregano

What to do:

Water the clay pot – if necessary – for at least 15 minutes. Mine doesn’t require watering because it’s glazed, but all other ones are at risk of cracking if you omit this step.

Peel and cut the onions, reserving 3-4 slices and cut up the potatoes. Make a bed from them in the clay pot to rest the chicken upon.

Wash, dry and trim the chicken of excess fat, then salt and pepper it on the in- and outside and stuff the remaining onions inside. Using a stick blender, create a marinade from the above-mentioned ingredients and brush it generously all over the chicken. Reserve what’s left.

Place the chicken into the clay pot, close, and shove into the cold oven (you always start with a cold oven when using a clay pot). Turn it on to 210 °C above-and-below heat and cook for one hour.

After one hour, open the pot (and admire the amazing smell 🙂 ) and let roast for another 10 – 15 mins., uncovered, to let the bird brown a little.

Take out and serve, drizzled with the generated juices and alongside with the cooked vegetables and the remaining marinade as a dip. Very recommendable.