Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Not as salty as it appears. Very impressive presentation.
- 4 1⁄2 lbs chicken
- 5 lbs coarse sea salt
For the garlic puree
- 1 lb onion, quartered
- 2 large heads of garlic
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- salt & fresh ground pepper
For the roasted tomatoes and peppers
- 1 lb plum tomato
- 3 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
- 1 red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- flat leaf parsley, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425°F Choose a deep ovenproof dish into which the whole chicken will fit snugly. Line the dish with a double layer of heavy foil, allowing plenty of excess foil to overhang the top edge of the ovenproof dish.
- Truss the chicken tightly so that the salt cannot fall into the cavity. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt in the foil-lined dish, then place the chicken on top.
- Pour the remaining salt all around and on top of the chicken until it is completely encased. Sprinkle the top with a little water.
- Cover tightly with the foil bake the chicken on the lower oven shelf for 1 ¾ hours. Meanwhile, put the onions in a small, heavy saucepan. Break up the heads of garlic, but leave the skins on. Add to the pan with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over the lowest possible heat for about 1 hour or until the garlic is completely soft.
- Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for ten seconds, then refresh with cold water. Peel off the skins and quarter the tomatoes. Put the red peppers, tomatoes and chile in a shallow ovenproof and sprinkle with the oil. Bake on the self above the chicken for 45 minutes, or until the peppers are slightly charred.
- Squeeze the garlic out of the skins. Process the onions, garlic and pan juices in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the pureé to clean the saucepan.
- To serve the chicken, open up the foil and ease it out of the dish. Place on a large serving platter. Transfer the roasted pepper mixture to a serving dish and garnish with parsley. Reheat the garlic pureé. Crack open the salt crust on the chicken and brush off the salt before carving and serving with garlic pureé and pepper mixture.