Cherry’s Claypot Chicken is a Keeper (WHB#60: rosemary)

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Weekend Herb Blogging (WHB)#60

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Cherry's claypot chicken Thank you Cherry!! The aromatic promise of Cherry’s chicken was more than fulfilled the other night. It was wonderful! And it’s no wonder it’s Cherry’s brother-in-law’s favourite. It’s going to be one of our favourites too.

We especially loved the olives. And the Portuguese cornbread that I made recently was perfect for soaking up the sauce. We had potatoes left over that were simply fabulous the next day.

We pretty much followed Cherry’s recipe exactly. The only changes we made were to use Moroccan sundried olives (because that’s what we have in the fridge) and to peel the garlic cloves. The garlic still gets a little chewy on the outside and wonderfully creamy inside. But it has an added bonus that one doesn’t have to deal with the outer husks of the garlic at the dinner table.

Here is what we did:

Cherry’s ClayPot Chicken – our take

  • skinned chicken legs, chopped in half
  • dried thyme, sage, savory, salt &pepper
  • Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced
  • olive oil
  • whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • onion, chopped coarsely
  • white wine
  • fresh rosemary
  • Moroccan sundried olives


  1. Soak the clay pot in cold water.
  2. Slice unpeeled potatoes thinly and dip them in olive oil.
  3. Layer into clay pot with garlic cloves.
  4. Cover the chicken pieces with dried herbs and place on top of the potatoes. Throw in several rosemary sprigs and onion chunks.
  5. Pour in some wine (We used Jackson-Triggs Sauvignon Blanc)– not quite to cover the chicken. Place lid on top.
  6. Put in a cold oven – set to 400F and cook for 1 hour.
  7. Check chicken and potatoes. When tender, remove lid and scatter in the olives. Make sure they are pushed under the liquid. Continue cooking until the chicken is lightly browned.

Serve with roasted winter squash garnished with parsley. Pour the juice into a gravy boat.

Cherry's Claypot chicken And as Cherry so aptly put it, “make sure there is lots of crusty bread to suck” up the wonderful juices.

WHB #60: Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

weekend herb blogging - © kalyns kitchen

This week, Kalyn’s (Kalyn’s Kitchen) WHB is hosted by Haalo (Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once (I hope I haven’t posted too late!)

I love fresh rosemary!! We have a pot overwintering in the basement but it is in dormancy right now so we bought fresh rosemary from the market. Hothouse rosemary is still a little faded in flavour from rosemary that has grown outdoors. But of all the herbs, it seems to fare the best in a hothouse environment.

Roasted rosemary (hothouse or not) is wonderful. It loses its strong almost bitter flavour and just has a lovely sweet rosemary flavour.

edit 27 November 2006:

This entry was posted in crossblogging, food & drink, main course, posts with recipes, WHB on by .

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9 responses to “Cherry’s Claypot Chicken is a Keeper (WHB#60: rosemary)

  1. Kalyn

    It does sound quite wonderful. Of course I love the flavor of rosemary, but I’m also intrigued by the sundried olives. I’ve never seen those, but I bet they are wonderful in a dish like this.

  2. Mats

    I just made a similar, if simpler, dish like this. I followed the directions in Clothilde Dusoulier’s le poulet de Muriel ( The recipe was similar in that it called for steaming the chicken rather than roasting. There was no poaching liquid, however, other than a lemon and the juices of the chicken itself. It was done at a lower temperature (300 F) for about 3 hrs. I was amazed how wonderfully the garlic, thyme, rosemary and lemon infused the chicken and what great (and simple) sauce was produced. I found that a heavy steel pan (with lid on ) worked fine.

    (edited by ejm to add link to Clothilde Dusoulier’s recipe)

  3. ejm Post author

    We really like sundried olives, Kalyn. They are quite wrinkly – oil cured rather than vinegar cured. I love the way they plump up in the stock that results from baking the chicken.

    It really is good, Anna; do give it a try. (I wish we could take credit for it but the praise really has to go to Cherry.)

    I know what you mean about the kind of chicken that Clothilde Dusoulier (Chocolate & Zucchini) posted about, Mats. We had a similar thing for our wedding lunch – The Frugal Gourmet’s lemon chicken (skinned chicken pieces, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, garlic, pepper, NO salt – all baked then juice of a lime squeezed over top) – it was fabulous. We’ve made it often again – and added red pepper corns to the mix. And I’m sure you’re right that a heavy steel pan with lid works. But I must say that we do love our clay pot!

  4. ejm Post author

    Good luck finding one, Mats! A word of warning though, make sure that it is unglazed inside and out. As I recall, a glazed inside version is available and does not produce the same thing at all.

    (Also, apparently, one can’t use just any old clay pot. It has to be a food-grade clay pot.)

  5. tph

    As far as I can tell there’s one big difference between, say roasting a chicken in clay pot versus doing it in a Casserole dish with a lid;

    Using the casserole with a lid you’re pretty much reduced to steaming your chicken.

    But when using a clay pot, even though it’s covered for the whole time it’s cooking, a roasting chicken comes out with crispy skin.

    The porous quality of the clay, I guess.

  6. Jeanne

    OK, I want a clay pot NOW!! I adore roast chicken (nothing else makes the house smell quite so much like your mom’s cooking) and this looks like a particularly good recipe. I like the fact that the chicken is succulent but the skin (the best part!) crisps up. Now, let me add “clay chicken pot” to my Christmas list… ;-)

  7. ejm Post author

    It is a particularly good recipe, Jeanne. But please note that for this recipe, we skinned the chicken pieces.

    Other times though, we put a whole unskinned chicken on a bed of sliced mushrooms OR sliced onions and roast it that way with the lid on. The skin gets nice and crisp and the resulting sauce from the juices mixing with whatever bed the chicken is resting on is absolutely divine.

    I really can’t imagine NOT having a clay baker. Hope you get one for Christmas, Jeanne! (But I really can’t stress enough that it should be unglazed inside and out.)


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