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Salt-Baked Chicken

February 20th, 2011 by Susan

When I was 17, my family went on vacation to southern Spain.  One night, my mom and I split salt-baked fish at a restaurant on the beach, and it was delicious.  Ever since then, I have been obsessed with the concept of salt-baking, so when I saw the following recipe, I knew I had to try it.

The chicken that resulted from this recipe was perfectly cooked and was so moist.  While the following recipe is a Chinese preparation, I am curious about trying this method with other roast chicken recipes.  More to come on that experiment!

Salt-baked Eight Flavor Chicken (Adapted from Martin Yan’s Chinatown Cooking)

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

3 pound whole chicken, rinsed

3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine

2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon five spice powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/3 cup sliced shallots

3 tablespoons chopped ginger

4 chopped green onions

4 lbs of Kosher salt (1 1/3 boxes of Kosher salt)

Combine the soy sauces in a small bowl.   Rub the mixture into the skin of the chicken and let stand while you prepare the other ingredients.

Combine the rice wine, hoisin sauce, sugar, sesame oil, five spice powder, and salt together in a small bowl.

Heat a wok over high heat.  Add the oil and swirl to coat the sides of the wok.  Add the shallots, ginger, and green onion.  Cook for about a minute and then add the rice wine mixture to the wok.  Stir to comibine.  Remove from heat, and remove the contents of the wok to a small bowl.  Allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spoon the contents of the bowl into the cavity of the chicken, and wrap the chicken in parchment paper.

Cover the bottom of a covered casserole dish with half of the Kosher salt.  Placed the wrapped chicken over the salt layer.  Cover the top of the bird with the remaining salt.  Cover the casserole dish and bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Check the temperature in the thigh and the breast.  Once both are above 160 degrees, remove the dish from the oven and serve.

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We enjoyed this dish as part of a Chinese New Year celebration including fried rice, spicy green beans, lo mein with pork, and whole salmon.  Delicious!


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