- 7 pounds coarse rock salt
- 8 heaped tablespoons whole fennel seeds, cracked
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- 1 4 1/2 -pound organic chicken
- 1 bunch parsley, ripped
- 8 cloves garlic, skins left on, squashed
DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put all the salt into a bowl with the fennel seeds, eggs, lemon juice (keep the skins), peppercorns and a wineglass of water and mix together. Bash up the thyme in a pestle and mortar and add a couple of good lugs of olive oil. Scrunch it up and rub this flavored oil all over your chicken, finally pushing any excess inside the cavity along with your parsley, garlic and squeezed lemon halves. The idea here is to tightly pack the cavity so it bulges and no salt can get in.
Get 4 long pieces of aluminum foil and put them on top of each other to make a sheet around 39 inches square. Lay on a third of the salt, making it about 3/4 inch thick. Put your chicken on top, then pack the rest of the salt around it. Because the salt is slightly wet it should stock to the chicken-make sure that the chicken’s skin hasn’t been pierced. Carefully fold up the sides of the aluminum foil and scrunch it at the top. You can rip off any excess aluminum foil-basically the foil is there to hold the salt together until it hardens.
Place the chicken in the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours, then remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. take it to the tale with one or two really nice salads, some bread and a bottle of wine. Rip open the aluminum foil and crack the salt crust. It will fall apart easily and reveal the fantastic-smelling chicken. Pull the skin away and tear the meat from the thighs and the breast. Absolutely pukka. Gorgeous served with horseradish mixed with crème fraiche or with some homemade basil mayonnaise.