Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cooking with a Römertopf

 If you have one of these wonderful Römertopf's and never used it, now is the time. This wonderful clay pot cooks and bakes everything evenly and never loses any nutritional value. You can also bake your bread in it for fantastic flavor and crust. The Römertopf is well known and commonly used in Europe. Before you place your food in it, soak your Römertopf' in a bath of cold water for about 20 to 30 minutes. Now you are ready to go.

 Just place your desired dinner into your Römertopf, place the lid on top and put it in your cold oven. I chose a large roast chicken and seasoned it with sea salt, pepper, Hungarian paprika, garlic, and onion. I also sprinkled it with olive oil and lemon juice. And put carrots, peppers, 1 cup of water and springs of rosemary in for added flavor. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 2 hours. And here is the amazing part, your chicken will be done in one hour, but even if you cook it longer, say 2 or 2 1/2 hours your food will not burn, it will stay moist and flavorful, not dry and chewy.

 I baked this chicken for 2 hours, because I had to run an errand and when I came back home it was perfect.

 The meat of this chicken literally fell off the bones and was tender and full of flavor. I was left with four cups of chicken broth. Some of the broth I used for making a gravy with this chicken and the rest I refrigerated for a later use.

If you don't have a Römertopf, you can purchase them online or do what I do, look for them in yard sales or thrift stores. The cost of a new Römertopf is between $70 to $120, depending on the size. I have purchased so far nine Römertopfs in varies sizes at thrift stores and have never spent more then $5 to $10.
And don't let the darkness of a Römertopf turn you away from a purchase; the more it is used the better it gets. Cleaning is easy.  Rinse out with hot water and a brush.  Never use soap of any kind unless you like the taste of soap in your food. ;)

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