Hay Baked Chicken
Hay baked chicken uses a technique I found in a Tom Kerridge recipe. He uses hay to insulate a chicken wrapped in muslin to slow cook it. I’ve adapted this recipe to take advantage of the smoke and flavour generated as the hay scorches and burns as well as its insulating properties.
As with Tom’s recipe I use cider to both steam with chicken but also impart flavour.
I don’t wrap my chicken fully in muslin though as I want it to brown a little and take on some of the hay smoke, his recipe has been criticised for producing a very anaemic chicken.
Cooking your chicken this way will not only give it a great smoky flavour, it will also keep it even more moist than normal.
- Hay – I selected a hay from a local pet shop containing quite a few herbs and wild flowers
- 1 large chicken
- 5 or 6 fresh bay leaves
- 500ml of cider
- 6 or 7 cloves of garlic
- Fire up your Egg at 180°C in an indirect setup, plate setter feet up with the stainless grid on top.
- Place a good few handfuls of hay into the bottom of your dutch oven.
- Place a muslin on top creating a nest for your chicken to sit in.
- Onto the muslin place the bay leaves and the whole garlic cloves.
- Place your chicken on top and pour over the cider.
- Season your chicken with salt and pepper.
- Place the dutch oven into your Big Green Egg and bake at 180°C for about 1.5 hours. Use a Thermapen or equivalent to check the internal temp of the chicken is 72°C or higher.
- Rest for 15 mins wrapped in foil then serve.
When serving chicken or turkey, it’s much better to take the breast off the carcass and then slice across the grain of the meat. This will make the chicken taste far more succulent.