If you cast your mind back to a couple of weeks ago, you may remember I mentioned that my husband brought home a chicken brick. He’d wanted one for a few years but due to the price we’ve never really been able to justify the cost of one however, he finally found one in a charity shop – brand new and with instructions for under a fiver! I was delighted with his bargain and insisted that we try it out as soon as possible.
If you’ve never seen a chicken brick there’s a photo of it below – and it’s kind of like a big clay easter egg! The brick is soaked in water for around half an hour before baking and the chicken is placed inside the brick with whatever herbs or spices you’d like to flavour it with. We tried the recipe on the instruction leaflet and rubbed garlic, olive oil, rosemary and lemon over the chicken. The chicken brick is put into a cold oven and set at a very high temperate of 250C so that the brick warms through as the oven heats up. The instructions also suggest that you could just rub garlic cloves all over the inside of the clay brick to infuse the chicken with flavour without overpowering it so we are planning to try this technique next time.
The moisture within the clay from the soaking process steams the chicken to produce a very moist chicken but, surprisingly enough, the chicken is also browned inside the brick without any basting and the lid is never taken off during cooking. The whole process takes one and a half hours from putting the chicken into the cold oven and made one of the nicest roast chickens I’ve ever eaten – almost like a spit-roast chicken.
There are plenty of other options for roasting the chicken with different flavours, such as using salt and pepper, olive oil along with one of the follow herbs: thyme, basil, oregano, tarragon or rosemary. The instructions suggests using just one herb at a time to get a better flavour into the chicken rather than using a combination. I really like basil and I think this will create a very Mediterranean flavoured chicken so I think this will be my next attempt for Sunday lunch!