Roast Chicken In Salt Water Crust

Preparation Time:

Ingredients for the chicken
1 Fresh spring chicken approx
1lb/450g in weight and allow enough for 4 people
4 shallots cut into 4 or 2 medium onions cut into 4
2 lemons cut into 4
Zest of 2 lemons 30ml/
2 tbslp of fresh sage, roughly chopped
 4 cloves of garlic peeled
4 bay leaves
4 cloves
8 fresh sage leaves Freshly ground black pepper Ingredients for the crust
 1kg (2 ¼ lb) of strong flour bread flour
 675g (1 ½ lb) of coarse sea salt
3 egg whites lightly whisked to a soft peak
1 egg yolk 600ml (1 pint) of water and possibly a little more depending on the strength of the flour. Extra flour for dusting

Method for the chicken
 Wash and pat dry the bird(s) dry with kitchen paper, Squeeze the lemon juice of ½ lemon over the bird and place the remaining squeezed lemon into the cavity. Place the onion/shallot (4 quarters) into the cavity with 7.5ml/½ tablsp of chopped sage and one clove of garlic. Place 2 leaves of sage onto the bird’s breast. Sprinkle over a little zest of lemon and place on a bay leaf. Season with black pepper. Method for the crust Pre heat oven to 160C/180f/gas mark 4, or alternatively, cook in the ground or around a boma. 1. Mix together the salt and flour and stir well. Fold in the egg whites . Add enough of the water to form rough dough, cover dough and leave to rest for 15 – 20 minutes in the refrigerator. 2. When the crust has rested, knead thoroughly, to form a smooth ball, divide mixture between 4. Roll out on a lightly dusted surface to around 5mm (1/4 inch) thick. 3. Take a bird and fold around the pastry to completely seal, breast side down – repair any holes with the pastry. If presenting at table, cut out chicken leg shapes from the pastry and glue on with a little egg wash. Mark out a feather decoration carefully with the point of a knife, lightly brush with egg wash. 4. Dust with a little more salt and place into a pre-heated oven. 12oz – 1lb (340g – 450g) piece of chicken will take approximately 30 – 40 minutes 5. Remove crust or serve with crust intact ensuring that the crust is not eaten.
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