Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs
This recipe comes from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days cookbook. Surprisingly enough the chicken is not overly salty, just moist because the salt crust keeps all the juices inside.
- 3 kg coarse rock salt
- 1⁄2 cup fennel seed, cracked
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 tablespoon peppercorn
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 1 (2 kg) whole chickens
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, skins left on, squashed
- Preheat the oven to 200 C or 400 degrees F.
- Put all the salt into a bowl with the fennel seeds, eggs, lemon juice (save the juiced lemon skins), peppercorns and a wineglass of water and mix together.
- Crush the thyme in a pestle and mortar and add a couple good glugs of olive oil.
- Rub this flavoured oil all over your chicken, pushing any extra inside the cavity along with the parsley, garlic and squeezed lemon halves.
- You want the cavity so full that no salt will be able to get in.
- Get four long pieces of tinfoil and put them on top of each other to make a sheet around a metre square.
- Lay on a third of the salt, spreading until it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Put your chicken on top, then pack the rest of the salt around it, making sure not to pierce the skin.
- Carefully fold up the sides of the tinfoil and scrunch it at the top.
- You can rip off any extra tinfoil.
- Place the chicken in the preheated oven and cook for two hours.
- Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Take it to the table, rip open the tinfoil and crack the salt crust.
- It will fall apart easily and you will have a juicy chicken ready to serve.
- A nice side dish is some horseradish, mixed with creme fraiche or some homemade mayonnaise and basil.
Awesome chicken! This dish is easy to prepare and the taste is excellent. The garlic, lemon and thyme work well together and the salt crust keeps the meat so juicy and flavorful. My entire family loved this. Thanks for posting this definite repeat meal :)