Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chicken in a Brick

I don't know why but I am definitely the only person I know who uses a chicken brick. I love mine. It’s use is usually initiated by Robert who regularly snuggles up to me early on a weekend morning and whispers in my ear ‘chicken in a brick?'. As a feeder, how could I refuse? Anyway, after being kept awake all night by the rain and howling winds (my neighbour just came round with a huge sheet of plastic-glass off our lean-to roof which ended up in her front garden!), it was the first thing I reached for this morning.

Our chicken brick was a wedding present years ago from Habitat and they still sell them. So do lots of places on the internet, so there must be some other fans out there. If you haven't got one and like a roast chicken, you need to get one - they cost less than twenty quid. They’re brilliant because as the chicken cooks, the terracotta draws out the moisture and the skin gets really crispy. All of the juices collect in the bottom so you have an almost ready-made gravy and the chicken stays very moist. As it is porous, never wash it with detergent, only rinse it in water and the more you use it, the better it gets. The only down sides are that although it pretty well fills the oven, it can only manage a smallish chicken and it does take a lot longer – about 3 hours.

Today, I filled my bird’s cavity with lemon, shallot and garlic and sprinkled it liberally with Tridosha sea salt, popped it into the cold oven and then turned it on. An hour before then end of cooking time, I squeezed in a narrow tray alongside the brick with some par-boiled potatoes and a couple of spoons of hot oil from the chicken. After 30 minutes, I turned them over and tucked in some fat pork sausages and rosemary sprigs. Cheddar mash, peas and buttered spinach completed our lovely lunch. And the sun has come out now too.

1 comment:

DivineMrsM said...

Chicken brick! The most fabulous kitchen accessory. I've had (and broken :o() many over the last 20 years. Good ole Habitat.