Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Salt Crusted Roast Chicken

Trick Question: What is the likeliest topic of discussion between guys stretched out on the deck after a lovely morning of diving (other than the dive itself)? What's the second most popular thing on the agenda?

Before you embarrass yourself with your dirty mind, its beer and food. And this was how I first learned of beer-can chicken and salt roasted chicken. This one’s dedicated to you Craig.

Delicious roast chicken (light on the fat), crispy, juicy.


Chicken: Preferable free range, 1 whole- about 800 gms

Garlic: 5 cloves, unpeeled

Bay leaves: 6

Thyme:  ½ handful/ or 2 tbsp

Lemon: ½ large

Salt: 2 kg

Preparation (1 hrs):

Pre-heat oven to 200 C. Thaw chicken, wash and pat dry with kitchen towels.

Remove the neck, and stuff the chicken with thyme, garlic cloves, bay leaves. Plug the butt with the large lemon. During cooking not only does the lemon add it’s flavor, but keeps the roast moist and keeps the other ingredients from falling out. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.

Remove neck and pat dry

Stuff chicken with spices and plug butt this way

Now in a large dish, pour in the salt. Add water little by little till the salt is in the consistency of semi-wet snow. Not sludgy but moldable. In a baking dish, spread an inch thick base layer of salt. Sit the chicken in the mix and slowly encase in the remaining salt. Cover completely.

Preparing salt mold

Sit chicken in salt base

Encase chicken completely in salt blanket

Pop the chicken in the oven for 45-mins to 1 hr and roast at 100-125 C.

Ensure that chicken is completely encased during baking

In an hour’s time chicken is done perfectly. Now remove from oven and let it cook in it’s salt casing for 15 mins. Break away the hardened salt cover, brush away the extra salt and remove the skin.

Salt jacket draws away the dripping


The salt hardens to a baked pastry consistency

Removing the skin prevents excess salt from the roast

Slice and serve with hot with chimichurri sauce.



This was an amazing meal on a rainy evening at the start of a long, long weekend. Best served with a chilled white.

Bon eetlus!

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