Salt-baked chicken in pepperberry and wild fennel

A bush-inspired baked chicken recipe that heroes native Australian ingredients.
Salt baked chicken in pepperberry and wild fennel

Salt-baked chicken in pepperberry and wild fennel

John Paul Urizar
1H 45M
2H 15M

We love a bit of dinner theatre and this recipe for salt-baked chicken puts on a show, with the copious amounts of salt trapping moisture as the chicken cooks. Crack open the salt-baked crust to reveal the succulent chicken and a plume of pepperberry-scented steam that trails all the way to the table. It’s a bush-inspired take on your classic roast chicken recipe that heros native Australian ingredients.


Salt crust


1.Preheat oven to 200°C fan-forced. For marinade, place oil, herbs, garlic, pepperberry and zest in a food processor and process until finely chopped and combined. Brush marinade over chicken, and inside cavity. Stuff chicken cavity with lemon halves and tie legs together with kitchen string.
2.For salt crust, combine ingredients in a large bowl until mixed to the consistency of wet sand.
3.Line an oven tray with baking paper, then press an approximately 2cm-thick layer of salt, slightly larger than the chicken. Place chicken on top, then pack remaining salt over and around chicken to completely encase it. Bake for 1¾ hours. Remove chicken from oven and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
4.To serve, crack the salt crust, using a meat mallet or pestle. Using a towel or oven mitts, break away remaining salt, brushing off any broken salt. Transfer chicken to a platter and drizzle with extra lemon-infused olive oil and top with fresh pepperberry leaves and wild fennel flowers.

Wild fennel and fresh pepperberry leaves are available from specialty green grocers. If unavailable, substitute baby fennel with fronds. Ground pepperberry is available from specialty food and

spice shops.


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