Weight Watchers Chicken Baked in a Salt Crust
- 6 pounds kosher salt
- 3 cups water
- 1 (16-ounce) jar grape leaves, rinsed
- 3 lemons, cut into quarters
- 1 (4-pound) chicken, skinned, giblets discarded
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Combine the salt and water in a large bowl, stirring until a thick paste forms.
- Place 3 cups of this salt mixture in the bottom of a large roasting pan, spreading it out to about 6 inches larger than the chicken you will be roasting. Pack the salt dough down, then cover it completely with a double layer of about 18 overlapping grape leaves, leaving a 1-inch border of salt exposed at the edges.
- Place the lemons inside the chicken cavity, then place the chicken on top of the grape leaves. Fold the grape leaves up to cover parts of the chicken. Use the remaining grape leaves to cover chicken entirely, creating a grape leaf “shell” to protect the meat from the salt.
- Mound the remaining salt dough onto the grape leaf–covered chicken, shaping the crust to the bird’s natural contours. Seal all cracks, but take care not to move the grape leaves underneath.
- Roast until a meat thermometer inserted in a thigh (through the salt crust) registers 165°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Let the chicken stand for about 10 minutes.
- Crack the salt crust with a meat mallet or a clean hammer, then remove the crust in chunks, making sure it doesn’t crumble onto the meat. Remove the grape leaves. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and carve.