Chicken in the Romertopf
This was an easy winter dinner….good for a day when I had time but very little inclination to cook. I don’t use the romertopf (clay pot for baking in the oven) all that often. I have decided that I prefer the taste results of cooking in my le creuset cast iron pot – it seems to create more caramelised flavours, particularly for meat. And the flavours are more intense. The romertopf produces more of a steamed/poached type of flavour and texture result to me….which is also good… but different. The two things I really like about the romertopf are:
- It goes into the oven cold (thus forcing me to skip the step of browning onions, meat etc – less work and less mess)
- It goes into the dishwasher and comes our looking almost new everytime – too easy…and less work once again!
So when you need to cook and you really don’t want to be bothered, try out this ‘recipe’.
Fill the sink with water and put the romertopf (from here on referred to as the R) in to soak for 10-15 minutes. Slice a leek and a carrot and throw into the bottom of the R. Sprinkle on some spice mix over chicken pieces and lay them on top. I used a Herbies Brazlian Spice Blend because I had it – but I am sure that just about any mix of spices or herbs you have at hand will be just fine. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
Top with a couple of slices of bacon and a couple of fresh bay leaves. Pour in a quarter cup of white wine or water…or skip this (as I often do). Pop the lid on and put into a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 200C. After one hour open it up to have a look (make sure nothing is burning) and add in a few new potatoes (or old ones chopped into chunks). Leave for another 30-45 minutes. When the potatoes are done, throw in a few more vegetables. I used cauliflower, mushrooms and beans. Drain out most of the liquid into a small saucepan. Pop the R back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Put the pan with the liquid on the stove on low heat and pour in some instant couscous. Stir with a fork for a minute or two. Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. When you are ready to server, stir the couscous with the fork. Add seasoning and a little butter if you wish.
And there you have it – dinner with minimal effort and only one chopping board and your R to clean up….in the dishwasher!