Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dinosaur-Egg Chicken

This one is amazing. It's been sampled by Timmy, my brother, and my dad, and it's fantastic. It's a time investment, but you won't be disappointed. I promise.

A 3-pound whole chicken
Herbs (I use rosemary and thyme, and sometimes fennel or basil)
Olive oil

For the crust:
Four cups of flour
About 2 cups of salt
7 eggs
A little water

Make the crust first. Mix the flour, salt, and six eggs in a very large bowl. You will only get so far with a mixer or a wooden spoon; I always find that at some point, you have to get in there with your hands. Use water to bind when you need to. Roll out one third of it. This is the base for the chicken. Place the chicken on the crust (MAKE SURE YOU PUT THE CRUST ON A BAKING SHEET FIRST! You'll be sorry if you don't) and slide herbs under the skin of the chicken. Rub the whole thing with garlic, drizzle a little olive oil over the bird, salt and pepper lightly, and roll out the rest of the crust. Cover the chicken with the top, seal the edges, and be very careful to patch any holes or cracks. Mix the last egg with a little water, and paint the whole shell with a pastry brush or your fingers. Bake at 325F for 90 minutes. Let the chicken stand for ten minutes out of the oven, then carefully cut off the crust and throw away.

Let me recommend this: Make an incision in the crust running lengthwise, then another one going across. Pry open from there, and take off just enough that you can easily pull out the chicken. If you take off too much, the juices will start to leak out and they will make a huge mess.

It's a time commitment, but this thing is SO good.

The boring stuff:
Difficulty: 3. It's a time commitment, but it's easy enough.
Takes roughly three hours. Half an hour on the shell, half an hour to prepare and put in the shell, hour and a half to cook, plus ten minutes to stand/cool/unwrap at the end.
Serves 4 with a little left over.

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