Crazy for Clay

You know when you get a new toy and you get a little bit obsessed with it? And, then that obsession turns into a deep, abiding love? That happened to me with my first two-wheeled bike. I made my parents bring it upstairs to my bedroom so I could stare at it as I fell asleep. Instead, I ended up sleeping on the floor next to it stroking the new tire fringe. (Let’s not judge. I’m sure you were a dork at age 5, too.)

I’m kind of repeating my behavior with my clay baker. I received it as a Christmas gift and I’m still a little weird about it. (I pretty much bit Paul’s head off as he started washing it with soap. Soap! How dare he?!?!)

Anyway, I made some curried chicken in it last week. It was so good that I think I might move the clay baker upstairs (to the kitchen cabinet! instead of the basement shelf… jeez, I got over sleeping with my new possessions after I got married…. I mean, there are some parts of childhood weird that you just can’t bring into adulthood… even if you really, really want to wear your new awesome shoes to bed because they are sparkly and purple…. I’ll stop now.).

This comes courtesy of the clay baker manufacturer with a few edits in the directions for clarity.

Curry Clay Pot Chicken

  • 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • ¼ t salt
  • ⅛ t white pepper
  • 1 t finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 6 small new red potatoes, cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 T curry powder (I split 1 T hot and 1 T sweet curry powder. Next time, probably all sweet.)
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 green onion, with top, cut into 1-inch pieces

After soaking your 2-quart clay pot for 15 minutes or so, place it with a cover in the oven to heat. (So, what’s hysterical about this recipe is that at no point does it tell you what temperature to heat the oven. I went with 350° as that seems to be a standard heating type of temperature. And, you’ve already cooked a large portion of the ingredients by the time they make it to the cooker.)

Trim the fat from the chicken and cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine the salt, pepper, ginger, and cornstarch. Toss the chicken with the cornstarch mixture and set aside.

Bring 2 C water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the potatoes and carrot, cover, and cook two minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet or wok over high heat until hot. Add the vegetable oil and the chicken; stir and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, onion, curry powder, and tomato and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the potatoes, carrot, soy sauce, and sugar and continue to stir until well mixed. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to the preheated clay pot. Cover the clay pot and return to the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

To hold the finished dish, turn the oven off and keep warm until ready to serve. Stir in the green onion just before serving.

Results

Curry chicken in a clay baker

As I mentioned before, fantastic to eat. (Not so much to look at… even forgiving my overly yellow photographic skills, this dish is seriously yellow.) But it’s one damn fine curried chicken. The leftovers the next day were amazing as well. Mr. Moo liked it well enough once I spooned it over fried rice. (Kid loves his carbs, especially if they’re of the Asian variety.)

I definitely think this recipe could be made without the clay baker. A casserole or Dutch oven would probably work just as nicely.

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  1. #1 by emmycooks on 8.29.2012 - 1:15 am

    I’m pretty attached to my pots as well. 🙂

  2. #2 by cookingwithcorinna on 8.29.2012 - 5:13 am

    We used to have a clay roaster. It made amazing roast chicken, but sadly it broke. I may have to invest in another one!

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