For you, the dress code is casual.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Wicked Clay Pot Chicken, Yo

I'm taking a lazy day. I'm so tired. I've been working far more lately than any person ought to. I can't understand workaholics. It's all so wrong.

I'm watching Heroes. I've caught the last five episodes. Now I'm watching the bonus materials. I'm such a geek, but I don't mind. I was going to do a bike ride later but I'm just too tired. I'll do some relaxation yoga instead and a walk around to the local shops. And maybe a nap. :)

I made a pretty great meal last night. I love being able to pat myself on the back when something comes together exactly as I expect it to. So very A-Team/Hannibal. I love it when a plan comes together.

So, then. Steff's Would-Be Peasant Claypot Chicken. I thought about what I wanted to do for Saturday's dindin Friday night, and it occured to me that a few ingredients might combine beautifully and easily. Here's how it all played out:

1 4-lb chicken, rinsed and salted inside and out
1 lb of itty bitty onions, like cippolinis and pearl and silverskins, peeled
2 heads of garlic, loose papers peeled and inner skin intact
1.5 lbs of washed, whole fingerling potatoes with peels intact

Put the onions and garlic on the bottom of a terra cotta clay pot. Put the prepared chicken over top. Pour potatoes around the chicken and tuck into cavities, etc. Take a large bunch of fresh tarragon, rinse well, and tuck 1 or 2 stalks into various spots, between potatoes and so they reach the bottom of the pot. I had tarragon tucked in about seven spots, plus about 4 or 5 stalks stuffed into the bird's chest cavity.

Combine 500 ml of a dry white wine, like a sauvignon blanc, with 1 tablespoon burgundy mustard (dijon-ish but stronger and more tart) and 1 tbsp grainy mustard, as well as 1 tablespoon fresh green peppercorns (sold bottled in brine in Italian specialty shops, about $2 for a good-size bottle, which you then refrigerate) and a tablespoon sea salt. Mix well. Pour over potatoes, cover the clay pot with its top, and bake in a pre-heated 350 oven for 2 hours.

When there're 20 minutes to go, throw a 1/2 lb peeled young carrots with a 1/2 lb of prepared green beans onto the top of the chicken and potatoes, cover again, and finish cooking for the last 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, sit covered on the counter while you warm up some crusty bread for sopping up the litre of good chicken-infused white wine. Yum. :)