Another simple dish from the clay pot, aka “Römertopf“, and, after some experience with it now, some conclusions for my part. But first the recipe:
Clay Pot Chicken Thighs (for two):
2 chicken thighs, bone-in
Water your clay pot for about 30 mins. if required.
Halve the onions and slice them, then put them into the Römertopf to form a bed for the chicken. Coat the chicken thighs with oil on both sides and season them liberally with salt and pepper, onion powder and smoked paprika. Fit them snugly into the clay pot.
Cover the pot and put it into your cold oven. Let cook for 60 – 80 mins. at 180 °C (depending on the size of your chicken thighs), preferrably without peeking.
When the time is up, uncover, turn up the heat to 250°C and let brown for another 10 mins., then serve. Easy, right?
My Römertopf Conclusions:
So here’s a little summary of what I’ve learned about cooking with the clay pot. First of all, it’s a very convenient and fuzz-free way of cooking, also for a crowd. Prep some ingredients, toss them in, forget about it for an hour and have a meal.
Juices and drippings come out absolutely godly, any vegetables will get soaked in it and become very aromatic. Meats of all kinds become very tender and juicy, thus it’s also ideal for preparing tougher cuts that need a long and thorough cooking. Cooking in an enclosed pot keeps all aromatics, juices and flavours together, combining them to a delicious outcome.
However, this cooking method has strong similarities to steaming, so no browning takes place and no roasting flavours will form. If you want a nicely browned crust on anything, you’ll have to uncover the pot for the last 10 – 15 mins. and give those ingredients a nice blast with strong above heat. Also, while it’s hard to overcook meats as far as I have found out, it’s well possible that veggies turn mushy or simply overcooked when left inside for too long. So have an eye on which ingredients and their respective cooking times you want to combine.
Finally, if you like your meats, especially poultry, a little more on the firm than on the soft side (as I do), consider increasing the normal cooking time by easily 15%.
(Note: Although their sales numbers will surely skyrocket now that I have posted this, I do not make any money off this, ok? 🙂 ).