Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Roast Chicken In A Salt Crust

I saw this recipe on Joe Pastry  and I knew I had to make it to satisfy my curiosity as to how good this chicken would taste wrapped in salt crust and roasted for 75 minutes !  It was one of the best roasted chicken I have ever tasted and I really really loved it.   According to Joe, salt crusted chicken is a French preparation that makes up in razzle-dazzle what it lacks in presentation.  This technique produces a subtly seasoned and extremely moist bird .  Wild Boar and myself ate the whole chicken with the stuffed veggies and boy, it was so flavorsome...the aroma of baked bread and the Rosemary herbs and lemony smell really whet up our appetite.   Joe, if you are reading this...thank you so much for this lovely French preparation that makes chicken  cooked this way so flavorful. A keeper for sure :)   Do hop over to see the passion in his work and the generosity in sharing what he knows about baking techniques.  I clicked on " Who is Joe Pastry " and read about his life and I deeply admired what he has had gone through. 

I love French cooking and this is one that really won a place in my heart. A keeper for sure :)    Thank you , Joe for sharing such a wonderful cooking technique . The salt crusted chicken was fabulous and I shall be making this again and again !  The steps to make this dish is not that difficult.  The stuffings is versatile and the seasoning is also up to individual taste.  For me , I used fresh Rosemary herbs, olive, black pepper to rub on the chicken.  For stuffing, I used what is in the fridge...carrots, baby potatoes, quail eggs and italian parsley.   I used Joe's salt crust recipe and his technique in making this superb salt crusted chicken.

1) prepare the rub spices in a bowl - 
chopped Rosemary , black pepper and olive oil
2 )clean and dry one free range chicken
3) rub the olive herbs mixture all over the chicken
and leave to season for 20 30minutes

stuffing ingredients :
par boiled baby potatoes and carrots 
optional * a few hard boiled  quail eggs 
filled the chicken cavity with the stuffings
and placed lemon slices and rosemary 
on the center of the dough sheet

my chicken was small , so I make 1/3 portion of Joe's salt crust recipe and
I find that I was a bit short of dough so I use my skill to wrap the chicken 
as best as I could LOL!

the chicken was aromatic...the aroma of the herbs was sealed in
and the meat was juicy and tender.  

look how tender and juicy...and the juices from the chicken
dripped on the veggies stuffing...gosh making them flavorful too

this is one healthy way of cooking chicken in the oven :)
and we both loves it very much

a balanced meal for the both of us :)

the salt crust to be thrown away....if it is not salty
we would have eaten it all too LOL!

Roast Chicken In A Salt Crust - original recipe taken from Joe Pastry 

1 large, 4-6 pound roasting chicken
1 medium onion
1 lemon
2-3 springs rosemary
2-3 sprigs parsley
2-3 springs thyme
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic
3 pounds (about 12 cups) flour
9 egg whites
2 1/2 – 3 cups water
2 pounds (3 1/4 cups) table salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse and pat dry the chicken using paper towels, inside and out. Cut the onion in half, remove the skin, and insert into the cavity along with most of the herbs and garlic. Cut three thin slices out of the center of the lemon and reserve them, stuffing the rest of the lemon into the cavity. Tie the chicken’s legs together with butcher’s twine and tuck the wings under the back.
To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle. Stir the ingredients together until they’re moistened, then either switch to the dough hook or remove the dough to a board for kneading. You want to knead it into a uniform dough that’s soft but isn’t sticky, and that rolls out well (adjust with extra flour or water as necessary).
To wrap the chicken, remove the dough to a floured countertop or large board, and roll it out into a square that’s roughly 20 inches on a side. Place the remaining herbs and then the lemon slices in the center of the dough sheet, then place the chicken — breast side down — on the top. Fold in the sides of the dough sheet, then the ends to enclose the bird. Pinch the ends of the dough together to form a seal.
Turn the wrapped chicken over and place it on a sheet pan. Insert the pan into the oven and bake for about 1 1/2 hours. At that point insert a probe thermometer through the crust and into the breast to check the temperature. It should read about 150. If not, return the chicken to the oven until it comes up to temperature.
When the chicken reaches 150 – 155, transfer it to a cool sheet pan (it will “carry over” another ten degrees while it sits). Cut around the edge of the crust — about two inches up from the bottom — and lift off the crust. Carefully with tongs, lift the chicken out of the crust and place it on a carving board. Discard the crust and any liquid it might contain, which will be extremely salty. Cover the bird with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.
And speaking of grilling, this recipe works great on a low grill (keep the wrapped bird on a roasting pan) or in a brick oven!

délicieux !

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  1. This looks absolutely delightful !!!! I want a bite !

  2. First time seeing this! Looks yummy and juicy, but a lot of work leh, wait till I'm free then will give this a try!

  3. wow, never seen anything like this! kwai lo yim kook kai!! how nice if the crust can be eaten :)

  4. I can imagine the flavoursome veggies soaking and steaming in chicken juices!
    Reminds me slightly of "Beggars Chicken" where the chicken is wrapped in lotus leaves then covered in a clay crust and baked (traditionally was in ground) and also reminds me of Hakka Dish, "Salt-Baked Chicken" where the bird is wrapped in paper then baked in a pot of hot, hot rock salt until cooked.

  5. Very interesting! Reminds me of our asian salt baked chicken except in a dough ! Just curious, hope this isnt s silly question, can umeat the dough? Or is it rock hard?

  6. Looks super, Elin! I'd made this some time ago and had a really good workout making the dough ... big muscles after that :) (aching, actually)
    This is a really good method of roasting.

  7. JO...when you come back , I will make this for you :)

    Min...yea, you have to try it to believe every word I said here :))

    Lena...ya, something like that but the flavor is different :)

    Lynne...yea , the veggies soak up the chicken juices making it so flavorful :) I love the chinese style of making the salted chicken but this salt crust is also awesome to me :)

    Esther....no, you can't eat the crust , it is very salty. The saltiness from the dough will flavored the chicken. The crust is not rock hard...just crusty on the outside :)

    Ping....LOL! I can imagine you with great muscles now :p the crust cant be eaten, so you do not need to knead it that hard. I use the hand mixer with the dough hook :p seriously , this is one good method of roasting the chicken !

  8. What a great-looking dish & I love the baking process! I could almost smell the aroma from here. Lol! Great job, Elin!

  9. Elin - this looks wonderful. I am sure it was extra juicy.
    I have made beef in a salt crust, but never chicken!

  10. Shirley...thanks :) yea, I love the baking technique too ! Lovely...the salt crust keep the chicken moist and tender and at the same time emits out the saltiness onto the chicken :)

    Cher...it is tasty too ! I must try it with beef..I am sure it gives the same effect to the beef too :)

  11. I have seen salt baked chicken in parchment but yes, dough is better. Bet it soaked up all the goodness and is absolutely delicious.

  12. oh, it is similar like what Lena said Salted bake chicken but western style..
    I vaguely recalled a similar recipe too from Flavour magazine by Catherine,but maybe Chinese style.
    am very interested to try this. Drooling every time seeing your dish posted up.

  13. Whoa, homemade hak yi gai! sounds fantastic. My favourite as well.
    Have a lovely evening.

  14. I will make this for sure....im out of ideas what to do with chicken and this looks AMAZING !! and I like that the dough uses only egg whites,.. healthy! Tq ELin for trying out such wonderful recipes! and making us drool..:D

  15. The Experimental Cook...yea something like that parchment paper but the crust one taste better :) but do remember the crust is not edible - too salty :)

    Sem...yea almost but I like the baking technique of this dish :)

    Kristy...yea , more or less like the har yi gai just that the marinating is western :)

    Zurin....if you want to make the crust edible, use the bread dough recipe. This one the crust cannot be eaten....too salty :p


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