Clay Pot Roasted Orange Ginger Chicken
Tender and Juicy from Baking in a Clay Pot
- Servings: 4.
This recipe uses a clay pot which must first be soaked in cool water for 15 minutes before adding the chicken or any other ingredients. The chicken is placed breast-side down in the pot and a mixture of orange juice, soy sauce and ginger is added to both flavor and moisten the meat as it cooks.
Remember to always start a clay pot in a cold oven, letting the pot and the ingredients gradually come to its full roasting temperature.
This recipe was a favorite of a friend of mine and when she first served it to her family, they gave her a certificate of achievement to celebrate such a triumphant dish. It's perfect with green beans and rice, but is equally good with couscous, egg noodles or little steamed potatoes -- as long as it's a side that can absorb some of its wonderful sauce.
- 3-pound chicken
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 oranges
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- Do NOT preheat oven. Put the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Prepare the clay pot for cooking according to its instructions. This means to soak the pot (both top and bottom) in a pan or sink of cool water for 10 to 15 minutes so that it is fully dampened. Remove the pot from the water and towel dry; use it immediately otherwise you'll have to soak it again.
- Take one orange and remove and reserve its zest, then cut it into quarters. Juice the other orange and reserve the juice.
- Wash and dry the chicken, inside and out (make sure to remove any giblets that may have come inside the chicken).
- Rub the chicken with the salt, pepper and garlic, both inside and out. After using the pieces of crushed garlic to rub the chicken, place the garlic pieces inside the bird.
- Place the pieces of cut orange inside the bird's cavity. With a short piece of kitchen twine, tie the chicken's legs together to close the cavity.
- Place the chicken breast side down in the bottom half of the dampened clay pot.
- Sprinkle the grated orange zest over the chicken.
- In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, allspice and ginger. Stir to combine and pour over the chicken.
- Put the clay cover on top to close the pot and place in a cold oven.
- Turn on the oven and set the temperature to 450º F. Cook for 80 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, carefully open the pot (be cautious because steam may blast out), and drain off the sauce into a small saucepan. The easiest way to do this is to remove the chicken, drain off the sauce, and then put the chicken back into the hot clay pot (breast-side up this time).
- Leaving the cover off, put the chicken back into the oven for 10 more minutes until it is golden brown.
- Put the sauce on a medium-high heat on top of the stove and bring to a boil, boiling it gently for a few minutes to slightly reduce it. Stop cooking when it's reached the thickness you like.
- Take the chicken out of the oven. Remove from the pot and place on a serving plate. Serve immediately, passing the sauce separately.
Tip: When reducing liquids to become a sauce, you can check it by dipping a spoon into the liquid, remove the spoon and run a finger along its back. If your finger leaves a clean mark, the sauce will have reduced.
Tip: If you wish to thicken a sauce even more, first, reduce the liquid to a simmer. Then using a method called beurre manié, in a small bowl combine pieces of cold butter with an equal amount of flour, using your fingers to make a paste. With the liquid simmering and using a wire whisk, stir in pieces of the butter/flour paste. As you stir, the sauce will thicken.