The following statement may shock you, amaze you, or possibly send you into a murderous rage, particularly if you're an avid follower of the Julia Child brand of thinking that, in order to taste great, food must be labored over and involve many arduous steps to concoct. (This is in no way meant as a slight against Julia - I do love me some JC recipes).
You can make chicken taste delicious in THREE ludicrously easy steps, using only ONE ingredient (aside from the chicken, of course; even my culinary prowess might be stretched when trying to cook chicken without chicken).
"EGADS!" you may exclaim (though most people don't say that anymore, sadly. It's such a great expression - try saying it out loud), "Surely you jest!"
I do not, and don't call me "Shirley."
Without any further ado, I give you... Chicken-on-Salt!!! This recipe was handed down to me by my father, who got it from his father, or possibly brother... well, anyway, it was a male relative of some sort, and while its cultural origins are lost in the mists of time, its simplicity and quality are timeless.
- 1 whole chicken, butterflied (alternatively, you can just use a package of chicken legs)
- Coarse salt (quite a bit)
Preheat oven to 420 degrees F
Pour the coarse salt onto a baking sheet. The layer of salt should be 3/4-to-1 inch-thick, depending on how big the chicken is.
Gently set the butterflied chicken (or chicken legs) onto the salt. Don't press it down, don't roll it around, just set it down. (You can also sprinkle the chicken with some dried dill, but that's not necessary)
Put the baking sheet into the over and let cook until the skin turns a lovely golden brown and crispy (about 35-45 minutes)
That's it. Chicken is ready to be served with a side of your choice. Just be sure to knock off any small clumps of salt that may have gotten stuck to the bottom.
How this works: the salt absorbs a lot of the chicken fat, and also dries out the skin (making it crispy and delicious). In turn, the chicken pretty much cooks in its own skin, and comes out nice, juicy, and flavorful.
"But WAIT!" you say. "That's FOUR steps!"
Really? Turning on the oven and/or putting a dish into said oven can't count as a single step?