2 (2 ½- to 3-pound) whole chickens, giblets removed
Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 slices prosciutto, optional (see ingredient note following recipe)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion, minced
¼ to ½ teaspoon dried thyme
¾ cup Marsala wine
1¼ cups chicken stock
½ pound mushrooms, sliced thick
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Wondra instant flour
¼ cup cold water mixed with ¼ cup water
Minced fresh parsley, for garnish
Soak top and bottom of clay cooker in water for at least 15 minutes. Rinse chickens and pat dry. Season chickens with salt and pepper, then place onto the bottom a 4-quart clay cooker.
In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, onion, thyme, Marsala and stock, then pour mixture over chicken. Top chickens with the prosciutto. Cover and place in a cold oven. Turn oven to 375 degrees and bake for 1½ hours.
While chickens are baking, heat butter and oil over medium heat in a 3-quart deep skillet. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms from skillet and set aside.
Remove chickens from clay cooker and place on a serving platter; cover and keep warm while making gravy.