Salt Crust Roasted Chicken
by Paul Kulik, Chef , The Boiler Room, Omaha, Nebraska
The salt crust creates a brick-like “oven” around the chicken, resulting in a super-moist bird because it steams the chicken. Even though this recipe calls for a lot of salt, very little is in the chicken itself.
- 1 4-pound whole organic Smart Chicken
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 ounce thyme, minced and off stem
- 1 ounce mixed garden herbs (oregano, thyme, savory, sage, parsley)
- 2 pounds kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 8 egg whites
To prepare salt crust
Combine salt, minced thyme, flour and egg whites and mix until crumbly dough forms. Set aside.
To prepare chicken
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stuff lemon, whole grain mustard, thyme, oregano, and garlic into cavity of chicken. Truss chicken tightly to keep salt from going into cavity. Place chicken breast side up on a broad and flat baking sheet. Completely cover with with dough. The chicken should not be visible. Place carefully into pre-heated oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 170ºF in the thigh area, about 90 minutes (or 20 minutes per pound). Remove and let rest 20 minutes. The exterior will be quite hard, and you may need to use a hammer to crack it open. Remove all salt crust and truss from chicken. Carve and serve.