Chicken on Salt (Kura na Soli)

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Ingredients: chicken, 2 lbs salt, side (rice works great)
Prep Time: 10 minutes of prep, then 2 hours for baking

In this recipe I show you how my mom bakes chicken. This’s got to be the easiest (and tastiest!) chicken recipe ever! Just place the chicken on a bed of salt, stick in the oven, serve. No basting required and all you need is one whole chicken and about 2lbs of salt.

2lbs of salt?? Won’t the chicken be insanely salty? No, not at all. The salt acts to absorb moisture from the air, and the dry air turns the skin deliciously crunchy. The crunchy skin then helps seal the juices in, kind of like how an egg shell keeps the liquid insides from leaking out. You end up with a chicken that is succulently crunchy on the outside, yet completely moist on the inside. The best of both worlds…

chicken and salt
This is all you need: a whole chicken (kura) and about one a half of these salt (soľ) containers. Preheat your oven to 400F.

washing chicken chicken wrapped in paper towel
Take out the bag of giblets (the insides) and rinse off the chicken all around. Then take a paper towel and completely dry off the bird. The salt won’t stick if the chicken is dry.

chicken in a baking pan filled with salt baked chicken
Pour the salt into a baking pan. Make a dimple in the middle, but not so deep that the bottom of the pan shows through. Place the chicken there, breast side up. Lightly salt the top and also the inside. But really go light with the salting (I overdid it a bit, so don’t use the photo as a guide). Stick the chicken in the oven and bake for about 2 hours, until golden brown. The general rule of thumb is to bake one hour for every 2 lbs of weight. Leave the door closed to keep the moist air out.

Some 30 minutes prior to the chicken being done, start working on the side. Chicken in Slovakia is almost exclusively served with rice. Perhaps you could find French fries, but rice really seems to have the competition in the bag when it comes to chicken. In Slovakia, we also don’t eat a separate course of salad. Instead our veggies are served with the main dish. This is called obloha, derived from the word obložiť, to garnish. After you take the chicken out, brush off whatever salt you can from the top. The outside may be little salty, but the inside won’t be at all. Enjoy!