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Rock Salt Roasted Chicken


Rock Salt Roasted Chicken

I love buying whole, pasture raised chickens from my local farm. The price of them at my local farm is actually quite a bit cheaper than my grocery store so I buy them frequently. I usually roast one per week and then use the bones to make a delicious bone broth full of healing nutrients.

I bore very easily so I am always trying new ways of preparing whole chickens since we eat them so often. I thought I had prepared them every way imaginable until my friend Alisa said I have to try a new way of roasting a chicken. When Alisa says I have to try it, I listen. She’s a good friend of mine and my very favorite cook so I know she means business when she recommends something. She saw the idea from here.

This technique called for roasting the chicken on a bed of rock salts and I had never done that before. I thought it was a brilliant idea. So, I tried it. And I fell in love with it. Don’t worry, the bed of rock salts do not make the chicken taste like salt. Instead, the salt bed locks in the moisture and infuses the whole chicken with an insane amount of flavor. The results are juicy, tender, flavorful chicken and crisp, delicious, out of this world skin. Out of all the ways I’ve prepared chicken, this is my favorite. I’m a huge fan of this technique and have already started my rock salt stockpile 😉

 Rock Salt Roasted Chicken Recipe

 Serves 4 

1 whole chicken, neck and insides removed

1 box or 4lbs of rock salt (usually found in the baking aisle at the grocery store, on the bottom shelf around the other salt. It is also called Ice Cream Salt)

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

1 lemon

3 sprigs of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc or a combination are all good choices)

salt and pepper


Preheat your oven to 400. Pour your rock salt in a 9×13 baking dish. Season the inside and out of your chicken with salt and pepper. Poke holes in your lemon with a fork or knife and insert it into the cavity of chicken along with the garlic cloves and fresh herbs. Secure the cavity shut with toothpicks. Place breast side up on the bed of rock salts. Roast for 40 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook for 45 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Let rest for a few minutes before cutting. Enjoy!


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  1. Avatar
    gabriele hawthorne

    Sounds yummy and sense my kids and me love chocken we will make that for dinner tomorrow. I will also try your banana treat that looks yummy too.

    Thank you for all the great ideas because like you I get bored easy and always looking for new things to uncover.

    • Primally Inspired

      Hahaha, I think that’s why I love cooking so much because there’s always something new out there to experiment with or make!
      Hope you and the kids love the rock salt chicken, Gabriele. You’ll have to let me know what you think of it after you make it.

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    so good, right??? did you eat the skin? I normally try to stay away, but this was so crispy and delicious that John and I were fighting over it! I can’t wait to try again, next time with some different herbs and more garlic!

    • Primally Inspired

      I’ve always been a huge skin fan, but this was by far the best, perfectly crispy skin I’ve had! Zach usually gives his skin to me, but this time he ate it!
      Thank you so much for recommending that!! It’s def. my favorite!

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    Do you have to get rid of the rock salt after roasting or can you save it for another use?

  4. Avatar

    I can’t wait to try this! I cook whole chickens all the time and usually just throw them in the crockpot. They turn out okay but the skin is always slimy…

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    Oh yeah, do you cook it covered or uncovered?

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    I was so curious about this so I made it tonight and it is SO GOOD! I never cooked a chicken as perfect as that before. I think this will be a weekly thing for me to make now. THANK YOU!!!

  7. Avatar

    Delicious! Made it this evening with thyme as my herb and the flavor was fab! Will be making a lovely bone broth tomorrow … .

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    Made this tonight and it was REALLY GOOD!!

    Now if I would only follow your workouts as well as I do your recipes 😉

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    I usually make gravy out of the juices. Do you have an alternative for gravy in this case?

    • Primally Inspired

      That’s the only negative I could find with this chicken, Lynda – all the yummy juices are wasted. But we think the skin and flavor makes up for it. If you have any chicken stock on hand, you could always make a small bit of gravy with some chicken stock.

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    So I was planning on trying this today…sounds so yummy. And as you said I was able to find ‘Ice Cream Salt’ in the baking Aisle at my local grocery store (it was the only rock salt that they had). But the box said that it was not inteded for human consumption. After a quick google search it seems like it would be a bad idea to cook with it. I am going to keep my eyes peeled for food grade rock salt. Have you encountered this?

    • Primally Inspired

      Yes, there are different grades of rock salt and I thank you for bringing that up! Some are food grade and some are meant for industrial applications like melting the ice off driveways and that stuff may contain dirt or pieces of rock in them. Another good option is coarse kosher salt if you can’t find food grade rock salt.
      I hope you can find some soon so you can try this out! 😀

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    Do you think it would be good with just chicken breasts?

    • Primally Inspired

      I’ve never tried it, but I’m fairly certain it would! I’ve read that a lot of other cultures cook a lot of different meats and fish over a salt block, which is essentially the same thing.

      I really want to try it now! If you try it first, let me know and when I try it, I’ll let you know, too.

  12. Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by our PrimalPal site and leaving us a message. I wish I would have told you sooner that we loved your stuffed flank steak recipe… Someone sent us email telling us how delicious they thought it was. So… to not make the same mistake twice I wanted to let you know that we included this chicken recipe in our free paleo meal plan Friday post. I hope you check it out. P.S. We <3 your blog.

  13. Avatar
    JIll Buckmaster

    I can’t wait to try this one!! I KNOW it will be a hit here! Thank you for all your hard work sharing 🙂

  14. Avatar

    Hi Kelly~

    So I can answer about doing the recipe when the chicken isn’t whole. I had about 4 lbs of Rosie’s chicken legs/breasts. I didn’t have the fresh sprigs of herbs but had they had the above mentioned in the cabinet. So after I laid out the rock salt and meat, I poked a lemon w a knife, cut it in half, squeezed a bit over it, and sprinkled the seasonings on. Baked it on 400 for 40 min. It came out perfectly juicy on the inside & a nice crisp skin. Just perfect! Kids are really happy with it too. I’ve actually been waiting to do this for a while but couldn’t find it. Luckily I found it in my bookmarks this morning. Girl, you totally rock! I use more of your recipes than any 1 other for sure. My kids like them more than anyone else’s as well. Making your banana bread again tomorrow too. Maybe even the lemon bread. Have you tried adding chia and flax to your breads yet?

    Saige Healing

    • Primally Inspired

      Thank you so much for this!! I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet (keep forgetting!) We’ve used the grill so much this summer, but now that it’s getting cooler, I will totally do this!

      And thank you so much for your kind words – your comment put a big smile on my face 🙂

      Yes, I have substituted the flax egg for eggs for the banana bread and it works great. I didn’t have luck with the lemon bread, though, but someone else told me she did do it and it worked for her, so I think it may have just been me (?).

      Thanks again for your comment, Laura!!

  15. Avatar

    You are so welcome!! Thought I’d mention that I didn’t substitute for the eggs in the bread. I kept them in. Just added the flax & chia in addition. Just a TBS or few. Sometimes I don’t measure. I just go by consistency. In the banana bread I add cacao/Enjoy Life Chocolate chips. Can’t remember if I mentioned that before. Anyway, always love to make people smile. Glad I can return the favor since we are smiling so much from the yummyliciousness you provide! =) Making rock salt chicken for dinner again tonight. Excited!

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    I’m making this tonight. It’s in the oven now and I can’t wait ’til it’s done! 🙂 If it comes out as delicious as I think it will is it okay if I post the link to this post on my FB page with a picture of my chicken?

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    Thanks so much for this recipe! I actually saw it on Patricia Russell’s FB. I love EASY recipes and I am a Foodie, so that’s hard to have something yummy that is easy! I have made this chicken recipe three times now! I swear I am drooling, just thinking about it! I want to make it once a week now! The second time I made it, I had guests over and I thought…this better turn out as yummy as it did last time! And it did! Even more so, actually, since I used a darker pan. You know how darker pans cook food deeper in color? So I just wanted to tell you that I did notice on the rock salt about that not for human consumption thing…I am still alive but it is kinda freaky. I noticed some brands of rock salt have some gray pieces…I just throw those away…I wonder where I can get rock salt that is “safe”? Have you heard of any other recipes using rock salt? It seems genius! I might just try your turnips recipe, too! I made roasted turnips for the first time recently (since I am getting so daring in the kitchen!) but they were too peppery for me and my youngest daughter. I love cooking with parsnips. I discovered them fairly recently. So I thought I would enjoy turnips since I love the parsnips. Wrong! But I am willing to try! Thanks again! 🙂

  18. Avatar

    I would love to try this and just wondering if rock salt is safe to use? Processed?

  19. Avatar

    I have been using this method for chicken and turkey for over 30 years
    I just thought to ask if anybody tried it in a slow cooker

    kindly let me know if you have

    healthy eating !

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