You can find roast chicken literally anywhere, but how often do you come across chicken roasted in a clay pot? Here in Saigon, you will have a chance to try the best Vietnamese roast chicken ever – clay pot roasted chicken. There are always reasons to call a dish “specialty” and with this one, it is the way it cooked. Clay pot roasted chicken really is the way to go when you visit Saigon.
What is Clay-pot Roasted Chicken
All foodies agree on one thing – Saigon is a food paradise catering to everyone’s wants. You can find all kinds of food here; local, regional and international. But today we’re talking about clay pot roasted chicken. Clay pot roasted chicken is a specialty in some regions of Asia and Saigon, Vietnam is included. Any restaurant selling clay pot roasted chicken (there aren’t many), is always packed with people. Why do you think that is? Is it the price, the taste, or something else? Let’s find out!
How the dish is made is very interesting. Usually, around 10 chickens are hung over the inside of a big clay pot and then roasted directly over a fire. Of course, the number of chickens depends on the size of the clay pot. But yes, it’s that simple.
The idea originated from India (Tandoori chicken, anyone?) and now it is popular in many countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and even Western countries. Besides being an appetizer, clay pot roasted chicken can also be a traditional Indian main course when the diners have it with naan bread. Similarly, Vietnamese people have chicken with rice or bread as a main course or sometimes even as a beer snack!
How to roast chicken in clay pot
The chicken is marinated with a combination of five ingredients: garlic, shallot, oyster sauce, and honey. The longer it’s allowed to marinate, the better the chicken will taste. After that, the chicken will be scraped clean of the shallots and garlic stuck to the skin before being put into the clay pot. This is to prevent the chicken from getting burned. Once that is done, the chicken will be hung using hooks around the clay pot.
In this restaurant, in particular, 10 chickens will be roasted in one giant clay pot. The pot is then covered on top to retain the heat and the juice of the chicken inside, without allowing it to evaporate. Moreover, the chicken will be cooked evenly thanks to the heat in the clay pot. You will only have to wait about 30-40 minutes for your meal. Once they are ready, they are hung on a display rack, ready to be served once ordered.
How to eat clay pot roasted chicken
At this restaurant, beside the roasted chickens, you also get served bread (French baguette), picked papaya, Vietnamese coriander and a delicious apricot sauce. Eating this dish is not so complex. First, dip a piece of bread into the sweet and sour apricot sauce. Stuff this piece in your mouth and then tear a piece of chicken off and eat it with. Another choice is to have the chicken just by itself with the sauce or the delicious mix of pepper, salt, and lemon.
Clay pot roasted chicken is the perfect meal for a family dinner or a reunion with friends and loved ones.
In addition, clay pot roasted chicken is the perfect meal for a family dinner or a reunion with friends and loved ones. It’s a fun dish to eat together, as you share the chicken, get some drinks and gossip about life. All of this together forms a cozy, warm atmosphere which will give you memories to reminisce about for years to come.
Where to find the best clay pot roasted chicken?
1. O O O Roasted chicken – 111 Dinh Tien Hoang, Binh Thanh D., HCMC
O O O Roasted chicken is well-known for the variety of flavor of roasted chicken available there – Mediterranean, Mexican, black pepper, passion fruit, and so on. It costs about 160,000 VND for a roasted chicken, which is not too expensive – just about 8USD. They do have clay pot roasted chicken on the menu; however, it is roasted in an oven with similar ingredients used to marinate it as mentioned above. The restaurant opens from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM since people in Saigon rarely or even never have time for roasted chicken in the morning. In addition, this place brings some joy to the diners with some adorable slogans such as “We have nothing but chicken” (Chẳng có gì, chỉ có gà).
2. Viet Huong clay-pot roasted chicken – 449A3 Le Quang Dinh, Binh Thanh D., HCMC
We save the best for last. The best clay pot roasted chicken comes from Viet Huong restaurant although this is not a fancy restaurant at all. Spaces are filled with some low tables and chairs that we often see in typical Vietnamese restaurants; however, the hygiene is definitely good. The price is much cheaper than the first restaurant mentioned – 130,000 VND (about 6.5USD) for a whole clay pot roasted chicken that can feed up to 5 people.
General info about the spot in the video:
Name of restaurant: Ga Nuong Lu Viet Huong
Address: 449A3 Le Quang Dinh, Ward 5, Binh Thanh D., HCMC
Opening hours: 6:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Did you show your friends the video? We’re sure they feel hungry too now. Why don’t you guys try it out and let us know what you think!? Bon Appetit!