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Chicken in a Salt Crust


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Chicken in a Salt Crust


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Chicken in a Salt Crust

Some afternoons I spend so much time picking up after my 3- and 4- year-olds that I have no energy left for the kitchen. I’m not talking about cooking, I just cannot stomach the idea of having to clean up one more area. That’s when I resort to this recipe, which can be prepared in less than 5 minutes (plus cooking time) and will leave your counters absolutely spotless! Now how about a glass of wine?


  • Ready Time : 0 min



  • 1 medium chicken, whole, pounded and flattened (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • 6 pounds kosher salt
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Make a 1-inch-deep bed of salt in a large baking pan. Place chicken in the center of the salt. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Cover chicken completely with remaining salt, pressing it down with your hands. Sprinkle salt with a little water and roast for 1 ½ hours. Crack the salt crust with a mallet, and discard the pieces. The chicken will be moist and juicy and the skin crunchy—the salt will have absorbed most of the fat in the chicken’s skin!


GOES WITH: Slow-Baked Tomatoes.


About Alessandra Rovati


Alessandra Rovati was born and raised in Venice, Italy, and has had a passion for food since a very young age (she is said to have feasted on garlic and chili-marinated herring at 15 months). Alessandra writes about Kosher and Jewish Italian food and teaches cooking; she also posts free recipes and how-to’s, offering a glimpse of Jewish Italian culinary history, on her website, Dinner in Venice




6 Responses to Chicken in a Salt Crust

  1. I heard of salt chicken years ago but never knew how to do it. 6 lbs of kosher salt, that sounds like quite a lot . Also I use frozen chickens so I’m the butcher. How do I flatten the bird. Where does this come from? Is this a traditional Italian Jewish recipe? I may actually want to reblog this on my blog http://kosherhomecooking.com Thanks

  2. avatar says: Elisheva

    I make a version of this recipe and it is really fantastic and easy. I take one box of kosher salt and pour the contents into a baking dish. I heat it in a very hot oven, between 400-450. Then I remove it when hot at place a whole chicken (not cut or flattened) on top of the salt, It’s important that the chicken be dry. It comes out best if you resist adding anything. On occasion I can not resist and I add a cut lemon inside, but really it is best to leave it plain.|Do be sure to check that all the feathers are completely removed as the skin is the best part of this recipe, well, the meat is also to die for,
    Cook it until the skin is bubbling and crisp and it is cooked through. Allow to cool slightly and then carefully lift it off the salt. It’s best to do this with care so the juices do not come out and skin stays very crisp. You really will not believe how “genius”this recipe is. I have made it with cut up chicken and with salt over it and I far prefer this method. The other way tends to be less crisp and too salty. I learned this from a friend who lived in Eretz Israel who said it was very popular there, but no one I have made it for has been familiar with it.
    By the way, kids go crazy for this recipe.

  3. I’ve heard of fish in a salt crust and would love to try that as well. Do you have a recipe for that? Know which fish are appropriate?

  4. Branzino or striped bass would be perfect, you can google the recipe as “Branzino in a salt crust” … If you don’t find me, let me know and I’ll be happy to help! You can always email me through the contact page on my website

  5. I have tried this and the chicken was way too salty- I had to throw it out. What am I doing wrong?

    • avatar says: Ariela

      I was wondering the same thing. How does the chicken not come out to salty? Would love to try this but scared of the results.

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