Sandy Cressman – Clay Pot Chicken

Here’s some of Sandy’s music to prepare this amazing comfort food:

Ivan Lins Medley from “Homenagem Brasileira”

Sandy Cressman – Vocal Musician, Composer, Bandleader, Educator
Once in a while, an artist is born with an inexplicable connection to a culture far from the artist’s origins. Such is the case with Sandy Cressman. Born in New York City, Cressman began her recording career with the highly acclaimed vocal trio Pastiche, with whom she recorded three CDs, “That’s R&Bebop” (Pony/Canyon/Nova) “Remember That” (BluePrint), and “Pastiche”(Summit).  Sandy’s connection with Brazilian music was first sparked when she first heard the music of Ivan Lins while at U.C. Berkeley in the late 70’s. After transferring to San Jose State University in order to major in Vocal Jazz, Sandy began hearing the music of Flora Purim, Tania Maria and Djavan, and began to study Portuguese. From then on, her record collection filled with recordings of Lins and Djavan, as well as the work of Milton Nascimento, Dori Caymmi, Toninho Horta, Elis Regina, Gal Costa, Jobim and others. In 1996, Cressman began performing as a duo with Brazilian master keyboardist Marcos Silva. Cressman and Silva developed an extensive repertoire, musical interplay and following in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1997, they expanded their group to a quintet, and in 1999, released “Homenagem Brasileira,” their critically acclaimed tribute to the great composers and performers of Brazilian Jazz. Sandy released her second CD of Brazilian music in 2005, entitled “Brasil–Sempre no Coração.” Cressman has collaborated with many important contemporary Brazilian musicians, including Jovino Santos Neto, Weber Iago and José Neto.  She has performed her eclectic Brazilian repertoire at festivals and concert venues in the U.S. as well as in France, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.  Sandy recently performed on the Main Stage (Maro Zero) of the Recife Carnaval 2015 with SpokFrevo Orquestra. She is currently recording her upcoming release, to be titled “Entre Amigos,” which will include original compositions she has written with Brazilian Jazz musicians from around the world. Sandy is also an
in-demand studio vocalist, performing guest vocals on recordings of artists such as Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Jai Uttal, Edgardo and Candela and many more.

Sandy’s Comments About Her Recipe
When Jeff [Cressman – acclaimed trombonist for Santana] and I got married, our colleague Edgardo Cambon (singer, conguero and leader of “Candela” and “LaTiDo” gave us the wonderful gift of a Romertopf clay cooker. Because you soak the cooker in water before roasting, anything cooked in it comes out very moist. The Country Roast Chicken is our favorite Romertopf recipe: it contains everything for a hearty meal – chicken, veggies and potatoes (or yams as I prefer to do it), and also the leftovers are really great for heating up before running off to a gig or to teach. We almost always boil the bones and leftover meat scraps to make a chicken stock that we either freeze or make into a tasty soup… thus further stretching the original meal! As the chicken cooks, you can go practice, work on a recording, etc., and the smell from the kitchen is mouthwatering. Last Christmas Eve, I prepared this chicken dish for a small family get together.

Country Clay Pot Chicken
3 1/2 pounds Whole Chicken
salt and pepper
1 yellow onion
Celery Tops
2 Tablespoons melted butter
White wine
Small vegetables- potatoes, onions, carrots, turnips

Water the pot. Wash the chicken and rub the inside with salt and pepper. Place the yellow onion in cavity of the chicken. Place in bottom of the clay pot. Brush with melted butter, if desired, and season with salt and pepper and thyme. Wine may be added for flavor. Place vegetables around chicken. sprinkle with minced parsley. Cover pot and place in a cold oven. Bake at 450 degrees. for 85 minutes.

Sandy’s music may be purchased at:

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