The Clay-Coated Chicken

No need to pluck feathers

You will need:

  • clean clay (loam, sand, and water)
  • untreated firewood
  • small washed stones 5–10 cm in diameter (no limestone)

Before you start, set up the fireplace, light it, and let it burn down.


  • a freshly slaughtered or ready-to-cook game bird, young chicken, or duck
  • onions
  • garlic
  • herbs to suit your taste (e.g. thyme, rosemary, and sage)


Stuff the gutted or ready-to-cook bird with the heart, stomach, onions, garlic, and the herbs. Salt it, inside and out, depending on its condition. Then wrap it in a coat of clay about 1–2 cm thick and place it in the bed of embers. Now carefully cover it with some of the embers so that the clay coat also gets heat from above.

If you have used a large bird – such as a broiler chicken – it is best to place a few small hot stones inside before you pack it in the clay coat. The whole thing should cook in the embers for at least 60–90 minutes, depending on the size of the bird and the thickness of the clay coat.

Now comes the exciting part: Once you have taken your fowl out of the fire and roughly freed it from the embers, you slowly remove the clay crust. In the best case, the feathers get stuck in the clay and you can serve it straight away.

Here I show you my attempt in a video: