Medieval Chicken in a Clay Roaster

“This is more a technique than a recipe, but it's special in our household because my 10 yo son can do this with minimal help. I have no idea why it's called a medieval chicken, but I originally got the recipe from a colleague. We have never used a cut-up, boneless, skinless or unprepared whole chicken, so I don't know how one would adjust the recipe to work with those cuts. You can substitute smaller roasters or cornish game hens, but adjust the cooking time accordingly. To learn to spatchcock the bird, ask the butcher to do this or check on the internet for a video.”
1hr 40mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak the clay pot according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Spatchcock the chicken, making sure to remove the keel bone and breast cartilage, but not cutting the bird into halves. Rinse.
  3. Season the chicken inside and out to taste with the salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the softened butter and the minced garlic. The amount of garlic should be adjusted based upon your preference.
  5. Using your fingers, spread the garlic butter between the meat and the skin of the breast and leg meat.
  6. Wrap the chicken around the quartered onions and fresh rosemary and place in the prepared clay pot.
  7. Pour the white wine and the orange juice over the prepared bird, allowing the excess liquid to pool at the bottom of the pot.
  8. Place covered clay pot in COLD oven and turn the heat on to 450 degrees. Bake until the chicken is cooked (use an oven thermometer) through, checking often after the one hour mark. The time will vary based upon the size of the bird(s). (In our oven, baking time is typically between 75 and 90 minutes.).
  9. As the bird gets close to being done, take the cover off the pot and allow it to brown.
  10. Allow the chicken or hens to cool for 10 minutes in the pot with the juices after removing from the oven. Collect the juices and skim off as much fat as possible.
  11. Cut up and serve the bird with some of the lovely skimmed juice on the side. Thicken it if you want, but we like it just as is.

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