Just about anything encrusted in salt tastes great. I experimented with encrusting chicken several times and found the meat a bit too salty, but perfectly moist. I found a solution by wrapping the chicken in a salty flour dough, which forms into a crust as the chicken bakes. Viola! The moistness is preserved and the meat has great flavor.

Serves 6

  • 1 organic local chicken, about 4 to 4 1/2 pounds
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups kosher salt or 1 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 bunch thyme, stems removed
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup water, as needed

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a baking pan. Rinse and dry chicken well, inside and out. Place chicken, breast side up, in pan and have the neck facing you. Put your hand under the skin starting at the neck. Gently separate skin from flesh. Once loosened, slip parsley under the skin as evenly as possible. Put garlic inside the chicken cavity and set aside.

3. For the crust: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and thyme. Add egg whites and 2/3 cup water. Stir with a wooden spoon until liquids are absorbed. Knead the dough until it holds together well – not too sticky, not too crumbly. Add additional water or flour as needed to make it smooth and pliable.

4. Flour a flat surface and roll dough out into a circle large enough to envelope chicken. Place chicken in middle of dough and fold flaps of dough over chicken, wrapping it entirely. Place in a baking pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. Test with meat thermometer and when internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, remove from oven. Chicken will continue to cook while resting.

5. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. Then break open the crust with a meat mallet (or sturdy knife handle). Once broken the crust should be easy to remove from the chicken. Discard crust, carve meat, and serve.

This recipe was originally published with the article, Salt.