If you’ve never cooked with terracotta go buy yourself a terracotta dish, but make sure it has a cover or buy a big deep round one and then go buy a pizza pan to cover it with. I first started using terracotta when we lived in Spain. In Spain I used the pizza pan method. I developed this chicken and potatoes dish while I was in Spain but I change it up just a little every time and it always turns out great so if you don’t have the items I put in it this time, don’t worry, just try something different.
This is what I did this time.
First off, I got the chicken marinating. I usually use chicken thighs, but the sale on chicken legs was too good to pass up. I took the skin off and then placed them in a zip lock bag and added about 1/4 cup of good extra virgin olive oil, about 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar, plenty of salt (I always use sea salt, Real Salt is the brand I use), pepper, one pod of cardamom (which is about 15 nibs) chopped up, 3 cloves of smashed and diced garlic cloves, and I also added about 1/4 teaspoon of french herbs. I mixed it all up in the bag and turn it over several times as I was getting the rest of it ready.
Now the fun begins. Here is a picture of the vegetables I put in it this time.
A red, and yellow bell peppers, an Anaheim pepper, I used half of the jalapeno pepper, a prickly pear cactus fruit, an apple, a large onion (always an onion), and three large potatoes. In the past I have also used various types of squash, carrots, sesame seeds, cheese and other items; be creative.
I dice them fairly small as you can see in this photo. I added some more salt, I had some Himalayan Pink Sea Salt so I used that, pepper, about 1/4 cup of olive oil, about a 1/2 teaspoon of chile de arbol, a couple pinches of french seasonings, and then with the cactus fruit, it is a very seedy fruit, so I cut it in a half and use a small strainer to squeeze out the juice. Then I toss it a lot to mix up the seasonings really well.
I started in the morning so my chicken was able to marinate for about 4 hours, over night would have been better. I placed the meat at the bottom of the terracotta dish so it can soak in the juices as it all cooks.
I placed all of the vegetables on top. You’ll notice the lid to our terracotta pot in the back ground.
I cooked it in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours and this is what it looked like when it came out.
The reason I like using terracotta so much is it seems to hold the moisture so much better than a glass or metal pan and the meat just turns out so juicy and tasty. Here is a picture of the left overs. Notice all the juice that were left even after I took some out to dip my bread in and several other spoon fulls just to drink. Yum Yum.
For those who asked, I didn’t make the salad, Becky did. She usually uses a mixture of lettuces; romaine and ice burg and spinach topped with grated cheese, finely sliced tomatoes, croutons, and grated carrots. I topped my salad with a raspberry vinegar and olive oil dressing.
I hope you have a chance to try a variation of this sometime for your dinner. I sure will again but it will probably be slightly different next time. Maybe carrots instead of the apple, rolled up sliced pork loins stuffed with spinach, or who knows what, whatever happens to be in my frig. Have fun and be a little feisty.
Let me know if you tried it and what changes you made to it.