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Clay bird.
A short note in the tips & tricks section of an old (1864) pocket sized hunters tuition book suggests that the pot and panless hunters way of cooking a Hazel hen in the field is simply by wrapping it in wet clay.
I removed head, feet and tail and stuffed it with butter, parsley and garlic. I sealed the bird in a half inch thick sheet of clay.
This moment opens up for all kinds of creative ceramic solutions I guess, mine being a simple sun. I buried the package in hot coals and waited 30 minutes before it’s slowly drying surface started cracking up. Skin and feathers came right off. The end result resembles steamed meat and wild game birds are basically fat free so cooking it this way really helped preserving all of it’s juices and flavours. I can honestly say that I have never gotten so much flavour out of a bird before so this method still makes perfect sense.


  1. Would these nineteenth-century hunters dig up their own clay for each meal? And where did you source yours from?

    Looks delicious, by the way!

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