Salt-roast chicken

Salt-roast chicken

  • serves 4-6
  • A little effort

Salting chicken before cooking draws out excess moisture, making the flesh firmer and the skin crispy. Serve with chips, salad or aïoli.

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Ingredients

  • garlic 1 whole head
  • chicken thighs 8-12, skin on
  • thyme a bunch
  • black peppercorns 2 tbsp
  • rock salt such as Tidman’s Natural Rock Salt (Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s) for sprinkling
  • 
olive oil
  • smoked or sweet paprika

Method

  • Step 1

    Smash the garlic cloves but leave them in their papery skins to help stop them burning. Put the garlic, chicken, thyme and peppercorns in a bowl and turn the whole lot over a few times with your hands.

  • Step 2

    Arrange the chicken on a rack set over a roasting tin; this will allow any liquid to drain out. Add the garlic, thyme and peppercorns, poking them in among the chicken. Sprinkle a good amount of rock salt over, making sure that you cover all the pieces. Now chill overnight or for at least 8 hours so the salt can draw out any excess moisture.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oven to 160c/fan 140c/gas 3. Brush any excess salt off the chicken and rinse out the roasting tin. Sprinkle over a little olive oil and dust with paprika before you cook it. Smoked paprika adds a lovely warm flavour and a slightly sharp edge.

  • Step 4

    Roast for 1 hour until the skin is browned and crisp and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with the garlic cloves to squeeze out.

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