When it comes to cooking meats with delectable sauces, I've found that a terra cotta press makes a great secret weapon. As long as you soak the press in water before you start cooking, you'll find that your finished meal has much more moisture than you'd ever expect: the sauce will be perfectly flavored and there will be plenty of it. At the same time, your meat will be wonderfully moist. Terra cotta cookware, such as the Tuscan Mattone Terra Cotta Press
, can make for an amazing meal. The Tuscan Mattone Terra Cotta Press is particularly versatile: you can use it on a gas or electric stovetop, in an oven (up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit) and even in the microwave. It's an Italian product--northern Italian cuisine uses terra cotta presses to produce perfectly cooked chicken. You can expect some irregularities in the finish, but it's perfectly safe to use. The press is hand-wash only and comes with recipes. It's 12 inches in diameter, large enough for a small chicken that has been split. The press is a relatively shallow piece of cookware, and other terra cotta pieces are available in larger sizes. The Tuscan Mattone Terra Cotta Press is priced at $49.95.