Add to Cookbook

Lemon and thyme salt dough-crusted chicken

  • 30 minutes
  • 2 hours
  • 6
Lemon and thyme salt dough-crusted chicken

This dish looks impressive. The flavours, having been cooked inside the crust, permeate the chicken, creating a dish with intense flavours. The dough can be made in advance and refrigerated for an hour or two before using.


  • 1x quantity salt dough, well-rested
  • 1.8 kilogram chicken
  • few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Pernod or similar
  • beaten egg to glaze
  • Herb crumb
  • 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1½-2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons oil or melted butter
  • Salt dough
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • ½ cup finely millled, free-flowing salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½-¾ cup water


  1. Prepare the salt dough if not already made. Preheat the oven to 230ºC. Line a baking tray with baking paper and sift over a light covering of flour.
  2. Remove the chicken from the packaging and pat the inside cavity dry with a paper towel. Place the thyme, lemon and Pernod into the cavity. Brush the outside with a little egg glaze; this acts like a glue for the crumb. Toss together all the herb crumb ingredients and season with salt and pepper, if wished. Press firmly onto the outside of the chicken.
  3. Unwrap the salt dough and divide in half. On a lightly floured bench, roll one half out to a 4mm thickness. Sit the chicken on this piece and bring it up and around the legs, pressing the sides onto the chicken as well as you can. Brush the edges of the pastry, especially where it meets the chicken, with beaten egg.
  4. Roll the remaining piece of dough out to a 4mm thickness and place on top of the chicken. It will overlap the first piece of dough. Press the edges together to seal well. Brush the dough liberally with beaten egg; transfer to the prepared baking tray.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature to 190ºC and continue to cook for 1¼ hours. Should the crust become too brown, cover with foil or brown paper. Crack through the crust to serve with vegetables or salad.
  6. Salt dough
  7. Fit an electric mixer with the dough hook. Put the flour and salt in the bowl and on low speed gradually mix in the egg whites as fast as the flour can absorb them, adding enough water to make a stiff paste. Work the paste for 2 minutes, adding more water if required.
  8. Turn out onto a lightly floured bench and bring the dough together in a ball. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap; rest at room temperature for 20 minutes before using.

Cooks Tips

- Fresh or frozen and defrosted chickens only require patting dry with paper towel when opened from the packet - rinsing under running cold water is no longer recommended. - To make the egg glaze for this recipe - use one of the egg yolks left over from making the salt dough, beating in a tablespoon of water. - Pernod is an aniseed-infused liqueur. Alternatively, use vermouth or dry Sherry.

Comments (0)

Please login to submit a comment.