Salt Baked Chicken in a Wood Fired OvenJan 25, 2016Posted by Chef LeaPrint
Salt baking is an ancient technique that helps retain moisture and flavor. With the addition of wood smoke, this is chicken of the highest order. If you don’t eat it all immediately (most likely!), it stays moist in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
This method works well with fish, too. Naturally the cooking time will be much shorter, based on the size and thickness of the fish.
Ci sentiamo presto!
You can watch a video demonstration of this recipe on the Forno Bravo Community Cookbook YouTube channel.
Salt Baked Chicken in a Wood Fired Oven
- 1 4-5 lb. chicken free range patted dry
- 1 tsp Chinese Five Spice ground
- 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 pods star anise
- 4 slices fresh ginger
- 2-3 scallions
- 1 tbsp Rose Dew liqueur or extra-dry Vermouth
- 3-4 lb Kosher Salt
- Bring the chicken to room temperature for about 45 minutes. Dry inside and outside with paper towels.
- In a mortar and pestle, combine Five-Spice, peppercorns, star anise, and ginger. Pound them into a chunky paste. Smear half of the paste inside the chicken.
- Cut the scallions into 2-3-inch pieces and place inside the chicken.
- In a bowl, combine the salt with the egg whites and mix them together well, until the salt has a coarse, sandy texture. Add the remaining seasoning paste and mix well.
- Put a generous layer of seasoned salt in an oven-safe deep container.
- Place the chicken in the container and completely cover the chicken with the remaining salt. Note: Leave a spot near the thigh with a lighter layer of salt so that you can insert an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness.
- Depending on the size of the chicken and the heat of the oven, cooking time will be from 35-45 minutes. Check the internal temperature (IT) near the end of the suggested cooking time. Remove the chicken from the oven when the IT is about 155 degrees F. Allow the chicken to rest for about 15 minutes.
- With a soup spoon or crab mallet, tap the salt crust a few times on top. Begin to lift off large hunks of the crust until you can easily free the whole chicken from its salty bed. Lightly brush the chicken with a pastry brush to remove any remaining salt. Carve and enjoy!