Simple Stupid Salt CHICKEN roast

Sensationally tender and juicy tasting CHICKEN roast...
with only ONE main ingredient...SALT.

Well, at least as far as the roasted chicken is concerned.

After some laborious preparations during the past holiday feasting...
wouldn't it be nice to allow yourself a few lazy recipes with a great return?
The very first time I had quickly fixed this meal...
the expression: "keep it simple...stupid" immediately came to mind.

How long does it take to prepare this chicken?
It sure doesn't take time to salt it...stuff it in a bag and leave it alone as it seasons.
After hours of not having paid any attention to it...
crank up the oven...and, in she'll go.

I usually celebrate coming up with quicker ways to...
get things done without sacrificing the end product.

This brilliant simplicity, unfortunately, did not stem from my usual genius.

It's actually another mastermind who’s to be credited for this simplicity.
The illustrious chef Judy Rodgers experimented with this culinary spontaneity and voila...
a very popular chicken roast to be devoured daily at her restaurant Zibo Café in San Francisco.

Alright then...SALT...that's really it?
At first, when I had seen this prepared...
I was honestly sceptical...
but hey, what did I really have to lose?

It did appear like maybe too much sodium was gracing this bird...
especially since I'm so careful with my salt intake.
However, after a brief search...
it confirmed how salt seals in the tasty juices without the salt intensity.
Well, that wasn't so hard to understand.
I've had plenty of opportunities to see how my body retained water...
making me look a little plumper...and not tasting of salt?!?

To think that the last time I had been this excited...
was over my  slow cooked
creatively concocted,
Sweet and Sour Chicken

However, I was nowhere nearly as exhilarated as with this...
Super Simple Sensation!

Before, finally getting around to writing this post...
I've had the delight of making this roasted goodness a few times already.

Since the originating chef always makes this in her restaurant's brick oven...
I needed to work out the kinks, especially with how to gage the timing with the oven.
I also discovered the difference it ultimately made to have the chicken season over night.
Incredibly, the usually less than tender breast meat...
can be enjoyed with its juicy rendering ;o)

For those, who, through their culinary journey have never had...
the pleasure of experiencing this meal...
here it is...
a succulent unforgettable roast like no other...
well, at least not with just ONE ingredient!?!

Simple Stupid Salt CHICKEN roast
serves 2 people with leftovers for other recipes
or 4 smaller reasonable portions
cooking time: about 1 hour (depending on size)

Click HERE for a PRINT version

(American / Metric measures)

. 3 lbs. (1.5kg) regular sized Chicken *
(this recipe gives better results with a small size chicken)
. 1-1/2 tsps. (7.5ml) sea Salt
(adjust upwards...only after the first time you tried it)
. Olive oil for greasing pan

* Note: Kindly refer to a very pertinent post I had compiled about selecting humanely raised chickens for consumption.


Note: to increase the level of flavour as well as moistness, it's better to season the chicken the day before or at least for a minimum of 8 hours.

...SEASONING the chicken:
1. Season the interior cavity with half the quantity of sea salt as well as rubbing the chicken's skin with the remaining salt.
3. Place the chicken in an airtight plastic bag ...making sure to take out as much air as possible.  Place it at back end of the refrigerator.
...ROASTING the chicken:
. Pre-heat the oven at 425F/220C/Gas 6-7.   Position the rack at the bottom level of oven.  Prepare a shallow parchment paper lined pan.  Make sure the pan is not that much larger than the chicken itself.  Spread a little olive oil on the parchment paper.
4. Place the chicken with its BREAST UP (wing tips tucked in) and ROAST it for the first 30 minutes.  Note: for the chicken to cook at its best...place the feet towards the back of the oven.
5. Take the chicken out of the oven to turn it towards a BREAST DOWN position. ROAST for another 20 minutes.  Note: in order not to lose any juices...avoid poking the meat with a fork. Use tools that are more delicate for this handling.  Possibly use silicone tip tongs to gently nudge the chicken while picking it up from the cavity and its opposite end.
6. Repeat the last step with the BREAST UP position to ROAST for the last 10 minutes.
. Once out of the oven, it's best to let it REST uncovered for another 10 minutes as the juices spread uniformly

VARIATION (for unit pieces):
. 4 medium chicken thighs with leg
. 1-1/4 tsps. sea salt 

. Follow the same instructions as for the whole chicken except position oven rack at 2nd level from bottom and...
. Rub the pieces on all sides with the salt and bag it.
. Place the pieces skin side down on oiled pan.
. Roast for about 15 minutes.  Then, rotate the baking pan and cook for another 15 minutes.  The skin should have browned nicely.
. Remove the pan from the oven and flip the chicken pieces to then keep roasting for another 15 minutes.  REST uncovered for another 5 minutes before serving.

Optional...a vegetable side dish could have been prepared while the chicken was roasting.

Fresh baby spinach on a bed of caramelized Spanish onions, savoy cabbage as well as sweet red bell peppers.

Voila, that's really all there is to it.

Buon appetito.

You may have known about this type of roast all along and I was out of the loop.
If you were within my loop...you'll surely be stunned at the results.
This chicken turns incredibly juicy and surprisingly tasty every time. 

Enjoy and flavourful wishes,

Comments or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

More CHICKEN recipes and related INFO that may be of interest: