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Fun with Chicken

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
As we move through the different regions in our production we I have taught some fun stuff. Yesterday we started a three day adventure into Provence.

One of the dishes I had my student prepare was a salt encrusted whole chicken, they were very excited about learning this technique, and it was a lot of fun to teach. It's very easy, so I thought I would share the process with you.

First you dry your chicken (about a 3-3 1/2# specimen)then you fill it's cavity with lavender, rosemary, thyme, fresh bay, 4 garlic cloves (unpeeled) 4 chicken livers and salt and pepper. Then you truss her up.

For the crust you need 2 pounds of salt (yes two pounds) 2 pounds AP flour and 3 cups of ice water. In a large mixing bowl you mix the salt and flour together, then you add the ice water (ice removed :p ) 1/2 a cup at a time and work it until you have formed a dough. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it and with the heel of your hands begin to flatten out the dough, you want it to resemble a thin pizza dough large enough to encase your bird.

So know you take your bird and place it breast side down in the middle of the dough and using a board knife fold up the dough to hermetically seal in the bird. Be sure theres no holes or the juices will leach out.

Have your oven pre heated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, gently turn over your bird onto a sheet pan so the breast is now up and roast her for about 90 minutes. The crust will become very deep amber brown in color. When done let it rest for ten minutes then with a pair of kitchen sheers cut a big circle around the top of the crust being carefully not to pierce the chicken (Note* the crust will be very hard, you can tap it with a meat mallet to crack it if you need to) after you have cut your circle, remove it (get your nose over it and take a whiff Hmm nice :) ) remove your bird to a cutting board and let it rest ten minutes longer. We made fresh pasta tossed with chiffinade of basil, Roquefort cheese, double cream and Normandy butter which we fired at this time. We also made ratatouille to complement the dish (remember were in Provence)So you carve your chicken like you would a Thanksgiving Turkey, place a tian of the vegetable at 12 O'Clock and make a birds nest of the noodles at 6 O'Clock, fan your chicken breast along the pasta, sprinkle the plate with Herbs de Provence and drizzle a little white truffle oil over your chicken and pasta.

This technique yielded the moist tender/juicy chicken I have ever eaten.
We drank a Grand Cru Chablis with lunch ( I teach wine also so I tied it in)

Give it a shot it's fun.
PS, you discard the crust
PPS, almost forgot, the livers you remove and toss with baby mixed greens while still warm and dress with a walnut oil vinaigrette.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #2 of 6
This is a technique I've always wanted to try but I've never kept soo much salt in stock at home. I have a recipe that adds whole eggs to the eggs.
post #3 of 6
I've done something similar with the chinese dish Beggar's Chicken. As sufficient clay is a hassle to obtain and somewhat messy, I've faked it with "salt dough", the homemade play dough.

Same technique, just different flavors. I guess it was just an unwitting fusion dish.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #4 of 6
Ja Gi Gai - if I remember right, you coat the chicken with salt in a large clay pot and bake, I forgot whatelse is added in. Pretty sad that I'm chinese and can't remember how it's made!!!
post #5 of 6

will it work with prime rib?

Do you think that technique would work with a piece of prime rib? Maybe I'll try it and let you know... :chef:
post #6 of 6
yes it does work with prime rib. I mix kosher salt and egg whites, no flour, and from a crust that way. Also works well for fish and hobo steak ;).
hth, danny
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