More Clay Pot Cooking! The Addiction Starts!
I recently did my first clay pot cook doing a Clay Pot Middle Eastern Lamb. I wanted to try a chicken version so I picked up some bone-in chicken thighs to attempt this Clay Pot Middle Eastern Chicken. The method was the same as the lamb dish but used different ingredients.
Preparation and the Cook
For this cook, I marinated the chicken overnight. You should set up the BBQ with both an indirect and direct zone. The first time I cooked this I used the Weber GBS but this time used the Char-broil 4600S gas BBQ.
In addition to the great advice from Clays, I also did a bit of reading about clay pot cooking. One of the warnings I read was about being careful about bringing the clay pot up to heat gradually, rather than just exposing it to the hot BBQ immediately. Exposing the clay pot to too much heat immediately can crack it.
Rather than putting the clay pot in the oven to heat up, as I had done with the lamb, I heated the clay pot on the indirect side of the gas BBQ as it came up to temperature. Towards the end of the 15 minutes, I briefly grilled the chicken directly for a minute on each side.
Once all the components were added I placed the pastry over the top and added the lid before placing it on the BBQ and cooking the dish.
This was my second attempt cooking in the clay pot and again I was really pleased with how it came out. The Clay Pot Middle Eastern Chicken was really flavoursome and tender. The rice cooked great and it made a really nice dinner.
I am so grateful to Clays Hyderabadi for introducing me to this style of cooking and also for being so open and helpful with cooking techniques.
Clay Pot Middle Eastern Chicken
- 2 Chicken Thighs (bone-in)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil (extra virgin)
- 4 tsp Za'atar
- 1 tsp Baharat
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Sumac
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Juice of a lemon
- 1 Rind of a Lemon
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 100 g Brown Basmati, Red Camargue and Wild Rice
- Dough (to cover the pot)
- Mix the Olive Oil, Cumin, Cinnamon, Lemon Juice, Sumac, Za’atar, Baharat and Salt together in a bowl. Add the Chicken Thighs and make sure they are generously covered. Place in the fridge for at least 8 hours but ideally overnight. An hour before you want to start cooking take the Chicken and marinade out of the fridge.
- Light your BBQ and set it up with a direct and indirect zone. Part boil the rice for around 1/3 to 1/2 of its recommended cooking time, then drain.
- Place the clay pot in the oven and heat for 15 minutes with the lid on at 100°C. Remove (with oven gloves or heat-resistant gloves) and remove the lid.
- Towards the end of the 15 minutes, quickly grill your chicken on the BBQ for 1 minute on each side.
- Place the chicken in the bottom of the clay pot. Then spoon the rice into the bowl and cover the lamb. Sprinkle the Lemon Rind over the rice, place the Cinnamon Stick on the rice. Finally, cover the pot with the dough and place the lid on top of the clay pot.
- Place the pot in the indirect area of the BBQ and cook for 45 minutes. Take it off the BBQ and remove the lid. With a knife cut open the pastry. Be careful as it will be hot. This bit is amazing as you will release all the fragrant spices. Remove the Cinnamon Stick before mixing all the rice with the meat and juices. Then lift the meat out together with spooning the rice onto the plate. Enjoy!!!