I was pretty much a “baking a whole chicken” novice before moving to the country. I stuck to two organic chicken breasts in packaged form, from Costco. That’s it. That’s all. Baked or George Foreman grilled were my cooking methods of choice when I was super busy working most of the time. I mean, what would be the point in baking an entire chicken for just my son and I in my former life in the city and I really didn’t get the concept of making a little more to get the bang for your baking buck until I began cooking more. Now, I compleeeeetely understand it. And….it rules.
So, when I get set to bake this incredible, moist, delicious, Rock Salt Baked Chicken, I get very happy happy. Because, I know there will be at least a half of that chicken left to remove the meat from, and save for a salad or wrap the next day. Who doesn’t love that? Two meals for the preparations of one. Yay!
I know it just doesn’t sound right. Rock salt? Chicken on top of rock salt? AKA Ice Cream Salt? What? Pssshhhht….nahhh. My best friend Trina had told me to try this for the better part of a year before I actually did. After I did, I think I called her just to say, “oh my Lord, I will never not trust your advice ever ever again…..any other recipes and tricks you want to throw my way you all knowing food guru you? What in the heck was I waiting for? Ah-mazing.” I also thought to myself, “self, I wonder if this will work on other proteins?” Trina confirmed for me that her family used this method for a turkey at Thanksgiving and it was lip smacking good!
If you are a non believer, try it. You might be a convert after tasting it. Exceptional. You may never ever buy another grocery store rotisserie chicken again. Well, that might be taking it too far because there are THOSE days when it’s just about making life easy. No judgement here. I lived it. LOL
I hope you enjoy!
All the best!
- 2 C. Rock Salt-Ice Cream Salt (Found in Spices Aisle Usually)
- 1 Whole Chicken with Skin
- 2 Large Lemons
- 6 Garlic Cloves, Sliced Thinly
- 2 Tsp. Butter, Melted
- 1/2 Tsp. Dried Rosemary
- 1/4 Tsp. Paprika
- Salt and Pepper
- Place aluminum foil or parchment paper on the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet. Pour the rock salt all over the paper or aluminum foil. Set aside briefly.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Rinse chicken with water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice chicken down the center dividing it equally into 2 halves. Sprinkle underside (bone/cavity side) with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, bone/cavity side down on the rock salt. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat but leave the skin in tact on the chicken-don’t fully remove the skin. Push the garlic slices under the skin between the skin and the meat attempting to disperse the garlic evenly on the meatiest portions of the chicken. Brush melted butter over the entire top of the chicken halves, covering all the skin. Squeeze a half a lemon over each side of the chicken. Slice the lemons up in rounds and place under the chicken between the rock salt and the chicken. (If you have extra, you can place a couple rounds of lemon under the wing crevice and the leg.
- Sprinkle the outsides of the chicken with the paprika, rosemary, and salt and pepper.
- Bake in oven for 35 minutes. Remove chicken from the oven and turn the chicken halves over with tongs to face the bone/cavity side up. Bake for another 35 minutes. Turn chicken one more time to expose the skin side again and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Note-For the last 3-4 minutes, I turn my oven on broil to crisp the skin a little more. Watch closely during this time so as not to burn the chicken skin. (Depending on the size of your chicken, cooking time may vary. Check your chicken for done-ness before serving. No pink should be present.)
- Let chicken sit for 2-3 minutes after baking. Remove chicken from the bed of rock salt. Cut in portions and serve.