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Jamaican Articles - Jamaican Recipes in Clay Pots

Preparing Jamaican recipes in clay pots is a Jamaican cooking technique that has been used since the early 1900ís. Jamaican cooks and chefs from this time will tell you that these clay pots tend to keep the natural flavor of Jamaican herbs and spices. Though Jamaican clay pot cooking is not popular in modern homes it is used by some cooks and chefs in the rural parts of Jamaica. This article examines using clay pots when preparing Jamaican recipes and success tips on getting the best results and the best tasting Jamaican recipes.

Jamaican clay cooking pots have been around for thousands of years, and they're still a great idea. Like cooking in parchment, cooking in Jamaican clay containers allows whole poultry and other Jamaican foods to bake in their own juices with little or no added fat. There's no basting and, if the Jamaican clay pot's lined with parchment paper extending a couple inches beyond the rim only minimal clean up.

For a new Jamaican clay pot with an unglazed interior, follow the manufacturer's instructions for seasoning it, which also strengthens the pottery. The manufacturer's instructions should also indicate whether your Jamaican clay pot can go into a preheated oven. If you have no instructions, here's one seasoning method: Rub the Jamaican clay pot and lid, inside and out, with peeled Jamaican garlic. Fill pot almost to the top with hot water, cover it, and place the pot in a preheated 350-degree oven for 4 to 6 hours. Pour out any residual water and wipe dry.

Jamaican clay pots shatter if exposed to extreme temperatures, so never set a hot Jamaican clay pot on a cool or wet surface. Before using, submerge pot and lid in water for 15 minutes to seal the porous clay surface. The moisture will be released as steam during cooking, keeping the food moist as it cooks. Island Oven has put together some tips on how to successfully use the Jamaican clay pot:

Avoid cleaning unglazed Jamaican clay cookware with soap or detergent. Instead, let cookware cool slightly; fill with hot water and let stand for a few hours. Scrub surface with coarse salt and plastic sponge. Rinse and air-dry. Stains and dark spots develop naturally on this type of cookware.

As the Jamaican poultry bakes, donít add other sauces allow it to baste in its own juices. If fresh-killed chicken is available in your area, by all means try it in this recipe. Otherwise, use a fresh young chicken.

Use as much fresh Jamaican herbs and spices in the Jamaican clay pot. Use fresh herbs and spices to season the meat because the Jamaican clay pot traps the authentic Jamaican taste.

Donít use a lot of tinned Jamaican foods to cook in the Jamaican clay pot. Using tinned Jamaican foods will allow preservatives to distort the taste to the natural Jamaican foods and spoil the Jamaican recipe.

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