Chicken in a Brick (with gravy)

chicken brick

I recently acquired this chicken brick (for free! I love freecyle). For those not in the know, a chicken brick is a clay pot into which you put a chicken and because of it’s shape and the fact that it’s a sealed environment, the chicken cooks lovely and moist. It takes longer than simply roasting a chicken on a roasting tray, but it’s worth it. Also, there’s no basting so you’re free to go off and do other things while it’s cooking.

Apparently you can also cook all sorts of other things in a chicken brick – lamb, soup, casseroles. And why not? It’s just a pot, after all. I’ll let you know how I get on with my experiements. But first, the roast chicken.

Ingredients
Serves 2 or 3, plus leftovers for sandwiches.

1 chicken (about 1.5kg)
An onion or a couple of shallots, peeled and quartered
A few carrots, peeled
A couple of stalks of celery
1 lemon, cut into quarters
4 bay leaves
A handful of fresh tarragon
150ml dry white wine
150ml water or chicken stock

The Cooking

First soak, the two halves of the chicken brick in water for about half an hour. This is important, it helps stop the pot cracking in the heat of the oven.

Then, do your prep:

prepper vegetables

Ignore the small sheep in the bobble hat there, he’s just trying to get in on the picture. He loves attention.

Pop the veg into the bottom of the brick. If you haven’t got all the veg or want to use different varieties, go ahead.

Put the lemon quarters, a couple of the bay leaves and the tarragon into the chicken cavity and then place it on top of the vegetables.

Pour over the wine and water or chicken stock (I just used water. I think roast chicken is chickeny enough). Season with salt and pepper and put the top of the brick and put it in a COLD oven.

Turn the oven on to 180/350/gas mark 5. Now, because you’re starting with a cold oven it’s going to take longer – about 2 to 2.5 hours. But because you’re not having to baste it every half an hour you can go and have a bath. Or to the pub. Or cook other things.

When it’s done, you get this:

cooked chicken

Set aside the veg and chicken and keep warm while you make the gravy.

Gravy

Pour the juices from the brick into a saucepan. Have a smell, it’ll be lovely. Bring it up to a simmer and if you’re feeling cheffy, thicken it with a roux. If you’re not, simply mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a tablespoon of water and pour it into the gravy to thicken it. Simmer for a few more minutes and you’re done. Serve the chicken, veg and gravy, perhaps with a potato dish (perhaps boulangere potatoes).

Don’t forget to make chicken stock with the chicken carcass.

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39 Responses to “Chicken in a Brick (with gravy)”

  1. evilbeth Says:

    Looks fantastic!

    Now I will have to have a look for a chicken brick.

    I like the idea of leisurely bathing while dinner cooks away.

  2. aka Says:

    Never had one.

    But I did shit a brick once when I went to eat at the Adelphi.

  3. Nancy Says:

    Thanks for the link to free cycle, it looks like a great Idea. The Chicken Brick looks good too.

  4. Cathy Says:

    If you can’t get one on freecycle we’ve recently added a whole range of cooking bricks to our site which you can find at http://www.legendcookshop.co.uk/x16603.html

  5. krz Says:

    yum Ill have to try this

    krz

    http://usachatnow.com

  6. Frogma Says:

    Sadness. I’ve just discovered this blog and you’ve stopped posting.

  7. 101things Says:

    No, no, I’m still here. I just haven’t been cooking a lot because I have been stupidly busy. But I promise you: next weekend there will be a new post. I haven’t yet decided what I will cook, so suggestions are welcome.

  8. Frogma Says:

    Bolognaise. But which one? Marcella’s or Silver Spoon?

  9. angela Says:

    Hi,
    I bought a brick at Habitat years ago. your recipe just motivated me to get it out.
    Angela

  10. James Says:

    Mmm my mouth is watering i love chicken i am looking for a chicken brick so i can try it for myself thanks for the great idea.

  11. Alex Says:

    I found this site while trying to find a way of cooking old rooster. I have a brick and will try it out on my old birds. Though if anyone had an receipe for rendering tough old bird tasty I’d be grateful for it!

  12. Vince Says:

    That sounds great fran! What are the white vegetables you have there? Daikon radish?

  13. 101things Says:

    The white vegetable is a parsnip, a standard root vegetable here. Most definitly not daikon. How crazy that we have this vegetable here that we use all the time and it’s not used at all in the US.

    You could replace it in this recipe with a swede (rutabega) or pumpkin or squash – they’re related.

  14. toadydan Says:

    I’ll never forget the day I dropped and smashed my chicken brick, I was in mourning for the rest of the week :(

    • Mares Says:

      That just made me laugh, as dropped the lid of my boyfriends chicken brick, he was really cross, and drove done the road, sounding like a duck, saying f —- f—-

      c’est la vie

  15. Ron Conway Says:

    Try Sauk Mountain Pottery for the brick.
    They make a great chicken brick.
    It’s worth the trip – they are located just east of Concrete, WA.

  16. TARDIShire Says:

    May I request a recipe for tongue, sandwiches or other, please? I had some decades ago, huge chunks in regular sandwich bread with mustard and mayonaise, but I daresay you might be able to improve on this. Also, I wouldn’t know how to peal off those disgusting tastebuds…

  17. Gabriella Says:

    Dear Francesca,

    I just want to say I’ll be making this tomorrow (Christmas). I have never used my mother’s chicken brick since inheriting it in 2002 (in fact, I’ve never roasted a whole chicken). It blew me away that there was a recipe on the Web. Thanks. Your blog looks wonderful.

  18. James Says:

    Weston Mill Pottery in Nottinghamshire, UK also sell chicken bricks: http://www.wmpot.co.uk

  19. john Says:

    just thinking of getting a chicken brick your receipe looks so mouth watering i am going to buy one cheers

    • Alan Says:

      We just bought a stove-enamelled cast iron chicken ‘brick’. which was virtually given away by the shop. So we’ll try it out with the recipe. Among other things it won’t need seasoning.
      Had difficulty finding recipes that don’t specify a cast-iron skillet but we think this is technically a dutch oven so we’ll see.

  20. Michel Says:

    Not having used my chicken brick for years, I found this site while trying to check the temperature and cooking time! I always used to rub the inside of the brick with garlic and rub Marmite into the skin before cooking – makes it crisp and flavoursome! Also, I never soaked the brick before use. Worth reminding people to wash only in very hot water and not use soap or the flavour could taint. Now – to the oven!

  21. David LL. Greening Says:

    Hello to All,
    I am a “Pommie”, living in Western Australita. My name is David LL Greening, formerly of Smugglers Restaurant , Salcombe,Devon & later Named & ran “Oysters Restaurant”, in the Barbican , Plymouth from 1976-1978. The latter was a full a-la-carte, & I have now adapted my cooking styles to include everything from Devon UK, to where I now reside.( Indian, Chinese, Indonesean, Singaporean, & Aussie, and some super South African adaptations, where I originally grew up.)
    As for the Chicken Brick:
    No need to soak it before putting it into a COLD oven.
    Always cut and coat top & bottom halves with 3 to 4 pieces of strong, fresh garlic, and leave the pieces in the lower half.
    Litterally, loosely stuff it with anything you like (optional). Do not add any liquid. Try stuffing fresh coriander leaves & anchovies, after soaking the chook carcase in fish oil for a couple of hours.
    Cook for about 105 to 120 mins on 180 degrees centigrade (fan forced).
    You can reduce the liquid (stock), from the brick by adding arrowroot, and simmerring in a skillet, untill thickened.
    Wash the brick with a green scourer, with no washing up liquid.

    If I had the time, I could share with you all, hundreds & hundreds of brilliant recipes, I have concocted.

    • Este Says:

      Can you add potatoes to the chicken in the brick to cook at the same time? If so, how to prep the potatoes and at what point in the cooking process do I add?

    • LARRAINE Says:

      Hi I have only just seen your info and realise it was a long while ago but I was looking for info and recipes for our chicken brick. It is really useful stuff and great to hear its from someone from Devon and now living in WA. My friend is in Perth and has lived out there for 25 years – what a wonderful lifestyle. Thanks again for info on chicken brick.
      LARRY Hampshire.

  22. JILL MEAD Says:

    Hello Chicken Brick Lovers,
    I purchased a Romtopf Chicken Brick from Nettledon Donkey Sanctuary (Nr. Ashridge, Herts) yesterday. It was on their Bric-a-brac stall, and I paid £3.00 for it.
    I’ve just been looking on line what to do with it, and must say I’m amazed by how good it sounds. I was going to use it to grow herbs in!! Not any more!! I’m a little concerned by the fact that you only wash it in hot water, (no detergent), because it looks a bit dusty and cobwebby, but I’ll give it a go. Off to get a chicken and will use the brick to cook it tomorrow. Don’t think I want to experiment on today’s rib of beef, just in case!!
    Watch this space!!

    Jilly

  23. birdfeeder sale Says:

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  24. Val Kerrigan Says:

    So good to find that there are still chicken brick afficianados out there. It is many years since I have used mine but now remember the wonderful flavours so well. I just ‘baste’ the chicken in olive oil, add lots of garlic and serve with basmati rice (tumeric added) and a lovely green salad! My saliva glands are working overtime now!

  25. Ali Says:

    Just bought a chicken brick from the local car boot sale for a £1.I liked the look of it and it was in its box retailed by habitat at £20.Looked it up and found lots of information ,reviews and recipes.Going to use it straight away.Hope it is as good as everyone says.I will let you know.

  26. Daniel Morris Says:

    My Habitat brick (the same one as pictured by the look of it) tells me to roast at 250 C (full whack) for 1.5 hours for a 3 pound bird. It also recommends to rub garlic inside the brick, lightly oil the bird and season with salt and pepper and one herb (thyme, rosemary, tarragon, etc); one herb better than more they say to prevent muddling the taste. Oh, and no stock or anything required as the bird will self-baste. I tried this approach and ended up with a lovely browned and juicy bird with about a cup of intense juice at the bottom of the brick to make a gravy from. Your idea of using veg inside is interesting though as it may also act as a trivet to prevent the bird sticking to the brick.

  27. sue taylor Says:

    Just bought a brand new chicken brick from Marks and Spencer (£35) with a gift voucher….Unfortunately don’t have time for rootling around at boot sales and picking up amazing bargains like some of you (smug) people!!! ….my son broke my old one and i felt bereft without it…would agree that you don’t need to add stock as it makes it’s own. I will try the veg thing although not to stop sticking as it doesn’t stick…my (ex) husband cooked this a couple of weeks ago with the piece of cardboard from the chicken pack stuck to it’s bottom and even that didn’t stick to it so you don’t need to worry about that!! It really does seem to make the best roast chicken, moist, juicy and tender. i have never tried it with other meats but i will do that now after reading this website….thanks for all the comments!!

  28. James Fisher Says:

    Just got one for Christmas.
    I have never cooked with one before and am trying for the first time today for the Sunday roast chicken.
    I will try the bare recipe as included in the instructions and try this recipe with the veg next Sunday.

    My first thoughts are how big my brick is.
    I can only soak one half in the kitchen sink and the other half in the washing bowl.
    I hope it fits in my new Neff bottom oven!

  29. Ian Dowden Says:

    Just tried mine for the first time today!! Absolutely brilliant! Moist and perfectly cooked!!

  30. graham Says:

    they are well worth haveing

  31. reco Says:

    Just used my Chicken Brick for the first time. Followed the above receipe, Put on a lower heat (gas 4) went shopping (and the pub). Got home 3hrs later, chicken was perfect but the veg wasnt cooked at all. Not a problem will use higher temp next time.

  32. John Fenwick Says:

    My daughter bought one for me from Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire. I used it for the first time today and I have never tasted chicken anywhere near as juicy and flaversome. Normally I don’t like chicken breast it always seem so tasteless, but not this time. It absorbed the flavors from the vegetables and it tasted delicious.

    Thank you for the recipie.


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