Easy Clay-Pot Baked Masala Chicken

Reader Contribution by April Jones and Pinehurst Community Action
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In ancient times, a lot of cookery was made of clay, but as times have progressed we have moved on to other materials. My first exposure to clay was when my kind mother bought me a tagine, a traditional clay pots from Morocco. With that pot, I was able to create some amazing chicken dishes.

I found that cooking with clay creates a juicy and tender meat that is hard to recreate with other cooking techniques. Clay cooking is easy, and every time I’ve cooked with clay, the meal turns out to be amazing. 

Clay creates a juicy and flavorful meat that leads others to think you have cooking more masterful than what the technique requires. When I’m cooking with clay, it reminds me of how women have been cooking since ancient times using this sacred art of earthenware cooking. 

I have two types of clay pots: One is a tagine, and the other is a French clay pot. While cooking with those pots I feel as if I am honoring my heritage of my African and French roots. My best meals have been made using chicken baked in a clay pot. Below is my go-to recipe for cooking in clay.

Clay Pot Chicken Masala Recipe

Photo by tomcensani on Flickr


  • 2 to 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of Masala spice
  • Dash of pepper to season
  • Dash of salt to season
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 3 ounces of water (about 1/3 cup)


1. Place the chicken in a clay pot.

2. Chop onion and add to the pot.

3. Chop cloves of garlic and add to the pot.

4. Chop five potatoes into quarters and add to the pot.

5. Add seasonings and 3 ounces of water.

6. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 45 minutes.

April Jonesis the founder of downtown Columbia, S.C.’s Pinehurst Farmers Market. Passionate about community, gardens, and farmer markets, April advocates for her community on issues of food justice and food sovereignty. Connect with April at Pinehurst Community Action on Facebook and at Pinehurst Farmers Market onFacebook. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.

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