Friday, June 24, 2011

Vietnamese Clay Pot Chicken

I have for some time been yearning for an Asian styled clay pot to cook with, I have eaten and enjoyed food cooked in such a way several times and it has always appealed to me, they’re a simple, rustic looking implement and I have felt that it would also be that way when it came to cooking with them.
Then on Sunday when I ventured back to the same shopping centre to where I had enjoyed a Vietnamese lunch on Friday, I visited one of the best Asian markets in this part of the world.  As we walked along the sidewalk memories of the Benh Thanh Markets came flooding back, the only thing missing was the little old lady down on her haunches cleaning fish and yelling and waving her knife about when you got too close!  Whilst poking around the store and having a look at all kinds of things I found this beautiful little clay pot, short and shout, partly glazed, just perfect for cooking a yummy meal for two, I have been planning tonight’s dinner since.

And just as I anticipated, the cooking of this meal was so easy, I had prepared the meat last night before bed, which took me all of 7 minutes to prepare a marinade and cut the meat, plonk it in the fridge overnight.  On arriving home tonight, I chopped up some Asian greens and an onion, these were added to the meat, now in the little clay pot, poured a cup of stock over the top and into the oven with it for an hour, that easy!  During the hour we had time for a chat and a beer, put on some rice and check a few emails, very relaxed way of cooking indeed.

 The resulting meal was absolutely yummo, beautifully cooked meat and vegetables, piping hot perfect for a chilly night, the only extra work was to slice a chilli and pluck a few coriander leaves for garnish, so happy with my little clay pot, so very happy.

As it was a brand new pot I had to soak it overnight, apparently after the first use it is only necessary to soak for fifteen minutes.  I was fascinated by the streams of bubbles  leaching out of the porous clay.  When the wet pot heats up in the oven steam pours out of these same tracks, which is what helps to cook and tenderise the meat, love it, love it, love it!

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