Salt and pepper roasted chicken
This chicken was cooked with a salt blend containing cardamom, ground turmeric, dried rose petals, dried orange peel and pink peppercorns but I have simplified the recipe here. Use only coarse rock salt as flaky or fine-milled salt will dissolve during cooking, creating a salty mess. Coarse rock salt tends to remain whole, while infusing the chicken meat with a delicious flavour
1 whole Chicken, large
¼ cup Rock salt, coarse; use up to 1/3 cup
1 Tbsp Peppercorns, whole; use up to 2 Tbsp, crushed (use white, black, green or a mix)
2 Tbsp Oil, or melted butter
Heat the oven to 190-200C. Place the oven rack in the centre. Line a shallow sided baking tray with baking paper.
Use a sharp cook’s knife or pair of kitchen shears to cut down either side of the chicken’s back; discard the backbone or use to make a little stock (simmer with a cup of water and a few flavourings like onion, peppercorns etc for 35-45 minutes). Press the chicken down firmly on the skin side to flatten the well, to ensure even cooking.
Scatter three quarters of the salt and pepper on the paper-lined tray. Place the chicken on top and pour over the olive oil or butter. Scatter the remaining salt and pepper on top of the chicken.
Roast for about 1 hour or until the chicken is golden and cooked. To tell whether it is cooked, twist the leg: if it moves easily the chicken is done; if not, cook a little longer.
The juices, though a little salty, are delicious spooned over the carved chicken. (If you have prepared stock from the backbone, strain, and pour over the chicken when serving).