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chicken in a salt crust.


FaustianBargain
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Has anyone tried this? I have baked a squab in a salt crust(flour:rocksalt, 50:50). Maybe a poussin instead of a chicken if size is an issue?

Why salt crust? Does the salt actually *draw* out the moisture? I am sifting my memory cells and cannot quite recall the idea behind the salt crust.

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Has anyone tried this? I have baked a squab in a salt crust(flour:rocksalt, 50:50). Maybe a poussin instead of a chicken if size is an issue?

Why salt crust? Does the salt actually *draw* out the moisture? I am sifting my memory cells and cannot quite recall the idea behind the salt crust.

I think the theory behind salt crusts is similar to that of a clay pot. It creates an atmosphere whereas the product you are cooking steams in it's own juices.

President

Les Marmitons-NJ

Johnson and Wales

Class of '85

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It also acts as insulation. In the days when ovens had poor temperature regulation it was one way of slow cooking.

Erm. Those days are over? :huh::raz:

Just for the record, it's worth noting too that a salt crust is a rather flavorful insulator (as though anyone here might lose sight of that). Nowadays, it's done for taste as much as insulation, much as confit is done for funsies, not just to preserve duck through a long winter.

And I believe that, yes, it is claimed that a salt crust will draw out moisture, though I'm not sure that's not one of those bits of cooking lore that's been passed on so often that it's become a "fact" without anyone knowing if there's any truth to it. I suspect that some moisture may be indeed drawn out by the salt, but I doubt that's its primary bennefit.

A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

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If I add rosemary or somesuch herb to the salt crust dough, will the flavour be imparted to the meat?

If memory serves, yes. Or, you can add a whole sprig of rosemary between dough and meat, and remove the herb with the crust.

A jumped-up pantry boy who never knew his place.

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Salt baked chicken is a classic dish in Chinese cuisine. And no, salt does NOT draw out the moisture. In fact, the crust formed in the baking procees stops leakage of moisture, giving a far more moist result than oven baking.

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would one use coarse kosher salt or another salt?

I guess you'd need quite a lot of salt.

�As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy, and to make plans.� - Ernest Hemingway, in �A Moveable Feast�

Brooklyn, NY, USA

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This method of cooking produces moist, tender chicken. It trades off crisp skin, which is lost, for an incredibly intense flavor.

I was taught in the French southwest to use all coarse or rock salt mixed with some egg whites to form a “cooking jacket. ” No flour was used.

It’s this combination of coarse grains of salt (gros sel), and the egg whites that keep the moisture in the chicken, but also miraculously absorb excess fat from the chicken.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I prepared a Poulet de Bresse sous la croute de sel last night and hadn't read the thread here beforehand. My recipe called for flour. Otherwise I would have put in some research into the egg whites idea. Working the dough for the croute nice hands on time. My main advice for anyone trying the flour dough method is to make sure not to add too much liquid. I had to remove it after the first attempt and work in more flour to make it sturdy enough to seal. :smile:

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