Clay Pot Chicken Recipe

| February 3, 2019 | 15 Comments

Clay Pot Chicken

Follow our easy, step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to learn how to make this Clay Pot Chicken. It’s super moist and tender, and cooking it with vegetables in one pot makes it a winner. Printable recipe included.


Clay Pot Chicken recipe, as seen on Taste of
Whether you call it Clay Pot Chicken, or Clay Baker Chicken, this is another one pot meal that you’re going to love. Add a few vegetables and season to taste.


Clay Pot Chicken, slider.

This recipe dates back to the days of Noah, Moses, and even before them.

Okay, maybe I’m stretching and exaggerating things a bit, but I’m sure cooking in earthenware goes back a very long time. You get the idea, right? Smile.

Yes Virginia, there was a time before Instant Pots, Crock Pots and Teflon coated cookware. Even before the cast iron skillet. I’m not sure when it began, but I’m pretty sure it was used in “days of old” as they call it.

I purchased my clay pot, pictured below, at an auction a couple of years back. Actually, no one else was interested in it, so I picked it up for $2.00 as I recall. Then, it just got put away and stayed here until I rediscovered it a week or two back while sorting through some boxes.

Some folks call it a clay baker, others call it a clay pot. Both are the same it seems, and I enjoyed trying out something different in the way of cooking.

The clay pot creates steam inside as the chicken and vegetables bake resulting in very moist and tender meat. It created so much juice in fact, that it spilled out into my oven. I hadn’t prepared for that. Smile.

You can buy larger clay bakers, big enough to hold an entire chicken, but this was a smaller one basically used to bake bread in. Still, it gave me a chance to try out the concept of earthenware cookery.

You may not own, or ever intend to buy a clay pot or clay baker, but I hope you’ll follow along and see what is involved in the process. It’s pretty simple actually, and I was surprised at just how much even this smaller pot would hold.

So, if you’re ready to get started, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!


Clay Pot Chicken, you'll need these ingredients.
Clay Baker Chicken Recipe, you’ll need these ingredients.

I’m using boneless and skinless chicken thighs for this particular recipe. You could use breast meat, or a combination, just whatever you have or desire.


Clay Pot Chicken, you'll also need a clay pot to bake in.
And of course, you’ll also need a clay pot to bake in. You can find a new one online, or perhaps a used one from a local flea market or yard sale.

I purchased this one at a local auction a year or two back and had never used it. It’s made by “Littonware” which shows up as Vintage now on several website listings. Best I can tell, it was produced around 1977 or so. They’re also sometimes referred to as a simmer-pot.

I think this one is a two quart size. You can buy one larger that will hold a whole chicken.


Clay Pot Chicken, soak both the top and bottom in water before you use it.
You MUST soak it before using it.

Oddly enough, you have to totally submerge the pots top and bottom parts under water, then let it soak for about 30 minutes before you use it. And, you MUST start it out in a COLD oven so it doesn’t break shortly after it goes in the oven.

The idea is, the pot is porous and when you soak it, it absorbs water which is slowly released as steam in the oven, thus producing naturally juicy meats as they cook. You also do not have to add any fat to the dish, which might be a big enough reason in itself to use such. Smile.

These pots are also used to bake bread in, but that’s another story for another time. The bottom half of my pot is glazed which supposedly makes it easier to clean. We’ll see.

While the clay pot is soaking, go ahead and prepare your vegetables.


Clay Pot Chicken, prepare your vegetables while the pot is soaking.
Prepare the vegetables. I’m using potatoes, carrots, and onions in this dish. I sliced the carrots in about one inch long pieces and split those in half. Then, I cut my onion into quarters, then cut those in half. Yes, I know that makes them eighths. Just trying to keep it simple.

I did wait until just before I was ready to start assembling the dish to cut my potatoes into quarters. I didn’t want them to start turning brown on me. And finally, I prepared several cloves of garlic as well.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the carrots.
After the clay pot has soaked for at least 30 minutes, drain the sink and start adding the vegetables. Don’t worry about trying to dry the pot, just go ahead and add the carrots.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the potatoes.
Add the potatoes next.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the onions.
Add the onion.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the garlic cloves.
Add the cloves of garlic. I just tossed them in whole.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the chicken thighs.
Layer on the chicken thighs. Again, these are boneless and skinless, but as you can see, I managed to get six of them in on top of the vegetables. Or did I?


Clay Pot Chicken, add the salt.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt. You’ll need about 1/2 teaspoon.


Clay Pot Chicken, add the black pepper.
Then, sprinkle on some black pepper. I also used about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.


Clay Pot Chicken, adding butter is optional.
Adding butter is optional, but as we know, butter makes everything better. Right?

Clay pot baking doesn’t need any fats or liquids in order to cook, but it should help add some good flavor to the dish.

I was surprised at how much this little pot could hold. I still had two pieces of thigh meat left, so after I snapped this photo, I went ahead and placed those two pieces on top of the others. That was a total of eight boneless, skinless, chicken thighs PLUS the vegetables. The dome top allowed enough room to add the other two pieces. How cool is that?


Clay Pot Chicken, cover the pot.
Once everything is in the pot, place the lid on top.


Clay Pot Chicken, start in a cold oven.
You MUST start in a COLD oven.

Just place the entire pot in your cold oven to begin with, close the door, then set the heat to 425F degrees.

Let the chicken bake for ONE HOUR at 425F degrees.

Now, let me tell you this part. You can thank me later for this bit of wisdom.

My oven has five shelf positions. I placed one shelf two notches up from the bottom so it’s just below the center of the oven. Knowing what I know now, I would have placed a DRIP PAN under the clay pot while everything was baking.

This dish produced enough liquid on its own, that it started running out the bottom half of the pot and into my oven. It might have made a slight mess. Just saying. Don’t let that happen with you. Smile.



Clay Pot Chicken, remove top and return to oven to brown.
Let the chicken bake until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F degrees.

This is boneless chicken, so it cooked much faster than it would have if it had bones. After one hour, it was showing temperatures up around 200F degrees which was way past where it needed to be.

Once the chicken is nearly done, remove the top from the clay pot, place the chicken back in the oven,  and let the chicken brown a bit on top for about 10-15 more minutes. I did that, but since it’s also skinless, I didn’t see much of a change in color.


Clay Pot Chicken, enjoy.

I took the chicken out of the bottom of the pot and placed it in the top of the pot in order to take this photo. I wanted to show the vegetables as well. Remember, I didn’t put any liquid in the dish and just a few pats of butter. There was about half an inch of liquid in the bottom of the dish and that doesn’t include what ended up on the bottom of my oven.

The chicken was amazingly moist and tender, and all the vegetables were completely cooked. I’ll most certainly be doing this again… real soon. Smile


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Clay Pot Chicken, printbox.

Clay Pot Chicken Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American, Southern


Deliciously moist and tender chicken thighs with a few vegetables, all baked in a clay pot, make this a one pot meal that’s super easy and quick.



6 fresh Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
3 cloves Garlic
3 Carrots, sliced
1 small Onion, cut in quarters or smaller.
4 small Red Potatoes, quartered
34 pats of butter.
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper


Fully submerge both parts of your clay baking pot under water. Soak for 30 minutes.
Prepare your vegetables.
Place the carrots in the bottom of the baker.
Add the potatoes.
Add the onions.
Add the garlic cloves.
Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the vegetables.
Sprinkle chicken with salt.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Place the pats of butter on top of the chicken pieces.
Place the top on the baker.
Place the baker in a COLD oven.
Set oven temperature to  425F degrees. Let chicken bake for 60 minutes.
Remove lid from baker, let chicken bake for 10-15 more minutes to slightly brown.
Internal temperature of the chicken should be 165F degrees to be done.
Remove from oven when done. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving.


If using bone in chicken, your cooking time may be longer. It’s always best to check the internal temperature of meat with a digital thermometer.

Keywords: clay pot, clay baker, chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, one pot meals, southern recipes


Your Comments:

Have you ever baked chicken in a clay pot or clay baker? What do you think of our recipe?

Share your memories of this great Southern dish with us. It will only take a minute or two for you to leave your comments in the section below.

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Be Blessed!!!


You might also like: Southern Fried Chicken Recipe

Or, maybe this:  Easy Roast Chicken

Okay, how about this one?  Chicken Pastry, made from scratch


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Category: Chicken, Main Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (15)

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  1. Jules Ginocchio says:

    Thank you for all of the in-depth information & awesome tips! I greatly appreciate the time you took & all that went into this recipe and clay baked lesson.

  2. Saly A Baker says:

    My chicken brick was given to me as a wedding gift in 1984, and I use it often. It holds a 5lb. bird. I’ve never washed the lid of the brick and it’s become blackened with use. Before putting the chicken in I rub a garlic clove over the inside bottom and rub olive oil over the bird. I have to open the brick after an hour through the cooking time to pour off the juices (which I freeze) and allow the chicken to crisp up for the second 45 minutes. It’s always done to perfection.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Saly, Thank you for sharing your experience with your clay pot cooker. I enjoyed cooking in mine and was surprised at how much even this small one would hold. I do appreciate your visit and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Mary says:

    Hi!!! I am cooking boneless skinless chicken breasts using this recipe. Tonight
    In the instructions you said 425 and in the recipe you said 450 for the temp. 1 hour you said but the interior temp was 200.
    Not wanting the chkn breasts to come out dry – should I cook at a lower temp ? Or for less time. If same temp as you , can you correct if it’s 425 or 450? Thanks. Ps. I have a huge romertoft and will be putting about 13 breasts in there. Boneless and skinless. Potatoes onion and a ton of garlic. Thanks again!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mary, I have corrected my mistake. I do appreciate you catching that and pointing it out. I changed the temp in the printable recipe portion to match the 425F degree temp as mentioned in the step-by-step section. I would cook at the same 425F degrees, but for less time. As I mentioned, mine was up to 200F degrees when I removed it from the oven and checked it. It was done at 165F degrees, but the temp had risen to 200F. The chicken thighs were still nice and moist even at the higher temp. I hope this helps. Please let me know how yours turns out when you give the recipe a try. I’d love to hear your results. Thank you again. I really think it’s the first mistake I’ve made in years. Smile. (Just kidding – I seem to make them daily) Thank you for your visits and be sure to stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Bill and Linda Hicks says:

    Good morning Steve,
    Sure hope you are doing great, the vertigo is gone for good. I was wondering if you don’t have a clay pot would the cooking time be different ? This meal looks so yummy, thank for posting it. It is snowy here, very strange for us on Whidbey Island, we are at a stand still, people just don’t feel good about driving when there is snow. Thanks again for your wonderful letters. You take care

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, It’s hard to say what the difference in time would be but I’m sure it would be some different. Really depends on the particular type of pot you’re using I guess. Sorry I couldn’t be of further help. I do hope you get to try it. Let me know if you do. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Joyceb says:

    Hi Steve! Happy New Year. I love chicken anyway l can get it. And the clay pot method has caught my interest. Gonna try to find one. In your blog you say you are using ‘boneless skinless chicken breasts; however the recipe calls for thighs. Will you clarify? Maybe they are interchangeable? Just said a prayer for your brother. Thank you and take good care of yourself.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Joyceb, Thank you for pointing out my mistake. I’ve corrected it now so it reads “thighs” instead of breasts. And, as mentioned, you could certainly use chicken breasts if you prefer. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of my brother. We were excited to get good reports on his exams today. God is good. I appreciate you being a subscriber to the Newsletter and your support and visits to Taste of Southern. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Josie says:

    That looks good. Will put that on my to try list. for your brother. Hope all went well. As you know God is good. Have a blessed day.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Josie, I thought it turned out good and I do hope you’ll like it if you get the chance to try it one day. Thank you for being a subscriber to the Newsletter, and thank you for your concern for my brother. Your prayers are greatly appreciated. God IS good. I appreciate your visits and hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Gina says:

    Hello Steve,

    I haven’t posted a comment in quite awhile as I have also been having some health issues, but I always try to read your newsletter and recipes every week because I always enjoy your positive, upbeat attitude and I love good food. Ha.

    This chicken sounds SO delicious! I have never cooked in a clay pot but a few Thanksgivings ago I did knock around the idea of cooking a turkey in one, but I decided against it because Thanksgiving is not a day for experimenting with your Turkey. Maybe in a few months I will be able to give it a whirl.
    Thank you for sharing your your good food and good thoughts with us. God bless you. 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Gina, It’s so good to hear from you again. I’m sorry that things haven’t been going well for you, but trust you’re on the mend and getting better each and every day. I bet turkey would be really good cooked this way. It would just have to be juicy and tender. I’d just want to allow some time at the end of the cooking cycle to remove the lid and let the turkey brown some before removing it from the oven. I hope you get to try that one day. Please let me know if you do. Thank you for being a subscriber to the Newsletter. I’m thankful for your support and for your visits to Taste of Southern. The door will always be open for you, so stop by any old time you’re in the neighborhood. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Bill Smith says:

    Used to cook in a clay baker a lot. Haven’t used it in years but this has certainly inspired me to do so again. Pot roast comes to mind and I wonder if a Boston Butt would be good for pulled pork in it. I remember roasting a whole chicken in one and then browning it off after the cooking. Thick slices of potato would hold the chicken up out of the juices but those potatoes would be real tasty. Blessings!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Bill, I’d have to get a bigger clay pot to cook a Boston Butt, but I agree, I bet it would be good for pulled pork. Thank you for sharing your memories and experiences of cooking with a clay pot. I know a lot of folks will never try it, but I had to do it at least once. Smile. I’m glad that I did and hope to do some other recipes with it. I appreciate your visits and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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