Making Chicken in a Salt Crust

Salt crusted chicken is a French preparation that makes up in razzle-dazzle what it lacks in presentation. A steamed chicken isn’t as golden and crispy-looking as a standard roast chicken, but the technique produces a subtly seasoned and extremely moist bird. Start by preheating your oven to 325. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of your mixer.

Combine the water and egg whites and whisk them together.

Add wet ingredients A to dry ingredients B. Stir them together until everything is wet…

…then switch to the dough hook and work the dough until it’s clumpy.

You’ll likely want to knead it by hand until it’s smooth and uniform. It should be roll-able but still a bit firm.

Apply the pin to the dough mass and roll, roll, roll…

You want a sheet that’s about 20″ x 20″.

Lay your herbs and lemon slices down in the middle of the sheet.

Place a trussed chicken 4-5 pound on them breast-side down.

Fold in the sides…

…then the ends and press the seam together.

Flip the whole package over and place it on a sheet pan. Patch any holes with dough pinched from the folds below. You’ll notice the leg bones poked a little hole in mine. No biggie.

After about 75 minutes, check the temperature by poking a thermometer through the crust. You want a temperature between 150 and 155 Fahrenheit.

When the bird is up to temperature remove it from the crust by either peeling the crust away from the top, or cutting around the bottom and lifting the entire top off. The crust at the bottom will be very moist and may have puddled juices in it.

Remove the chicken to a carving board, tent it with a sheet of aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes (so the meat will re-absorb some of its moisture), then carve.

This entry was posted in Chicken in a Salt Crust, Pastry. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Making Chicken in a Salt Crust

  1. Andrew says:

    That’s so cool. Thanks for showing us the method, Joe! :)

  2. Jacki says:

    I gotta ask – is the bread good? And is it all mushy on the bottom?

    • joepastry says:

      Oh right, forgot to talk about that…the crust is WAY too salty to be edible. So are any juicers that collect in the crust.

      Thanks for reminding me, Jacki!

  3. ben says:

    Good job Joe, I would be very happy if this was
    put in front of me. Thanks for the effort and
    know-how. By the way, could this technique
    be used for other kinds of meats?

    • joepastry says:

      It absolutely can! I’m glad you asked. You can use a salt crust for roasts (it’s especially good with beef tenderloin) and fish.

  4. Michael says:

    I see I’m late to the party! I saw this being made on TV and had to google it, so here I am. Is the reason for so much salt to help hold the moisture in? Has anyone figured out how to make the bread a nice part of the meal? I understand the bottom wouldn’t be edible due to all the juices, but just wondering why one couldn’t do the same thing with say a sourdough or biscuit crust. Thank you in advance for your time and the recipe!

    • joepastry says:

      Hi Michael!

      I think there are bread crust recipes out there that work well. In this case the salt crust just helps to season the meat…along the lines of a brine as it bakes. But please let me know what you decide to do with yours and how it turns out…I’ll want to know!

      Cheers,

      - Joe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>