Do not try this on a cold day – or any day you have to open every window in the house! The final product was soooooo good, but it looked like the house was afire for a while!

What could make the house smoke so much? Well, it certainly wasn’t a dirty oven. I cleaned the oven last night – which meant I had to put something in it, today!

Shopping day, yesterday, found me with a couple of my favorite chickens. Murray’s. From birth in the scenic Amish countryside, Murray’s All Natural Chickens are raised without use of any antibiotics, growth stimulants, pesticides, and hormones. Our chickens are raised over eight weeks in a natural environment that allows our chickens to roam freely in wide open spaces. Murray’s Antibiotic Free Chickens are grown in the Blue Mountains in the tranquil Amish countryside of Pennsylvania. Murray’s birds eat well, (strictly veggie diet, no antibiotics, no hormones, no growth drugs) and have considerably more space to stretch their wings. In fact their homes are more like avian spas: food and water flow freely and the chickens lounge around as they please. As we say at the farm “the happier the Murray’s Chickens are, the better they taste.”


Okay, enough of the advert. They ARE great tasting chickens, though!

At their website, I saw a link for recipes, which led me to tonight’s Great American Smoke-Out!

The recipe I found is for Salt Baked Chickens with Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Ragout. Now, I wasn’t in the mood for 1) cooking 4 chickens, and 2) having vegetable ragout tonight, but the chicken recipe itself intrigued me. I’ve done some salt-rubbed dishes in the past, but none with chicken. And I just happened to have the fleur de sel!

Salt Baked Chickens

  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel, to coat
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground black pepper, to coat
  • 4 free range chickens (4 to 6 pounds each)
  • 1 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Mix together the salt and pepper. Rub chicken with oil inside and out, then liberally coat with salt mix. Place chicken, breast-side up, in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. The chicken may have to be rotated for even coloring. When chicken is fully browned turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Cover with foil to prevent burning. Chicken will take another 35 to 45 minutes. Chicken is done when one can move the wing back and forth with great ease. Another test is piercing between the thigh and breast and the juices should run clear. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


The finished product was moist, tender, and perfectly cooked! One of the best roasted chickens I’ve had in quite a while! Since I eschewed the Vegetable Ragout, I had to have other side dishes, right?!? I mean, chicken is good, but a MEAL requires more! 2 potatoes, boiled and mashed with their skins still on, with butter and sour cream. A simple pan gravy, and steamed broccoli finished it off.

And the great thing about it is – there’s leftovers!!!