- 1 fresh spring chicken approx 1 lb / 450 g in weight and allow enough for 4 people
- 4 shallots cut into 4 or 2 medium onions cut into 4
- 2 lemons cut into 4
- zest of 2 lemons
- 30 ml / 2 tbsp of fresh sage, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic peeled
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 cloves
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 kg (2¼ lbs) of strong flour bread flour
- 675 g (1½ lbs) of coarse sea salt
- 3 egg whites lightly whisked to a soft peak
- 1 egg yolk
- 600 ml (1 pint) of water and possibly a little more depending on the strength of the flour.
- extra flour for dusting.
- Wash and pat dry the bird(s) dry with kitchen paper, squeeze the lemon juice of ½ lemon over the bird and place the remaining squeezed lemon into the cavity.
- Place the onion/shallot (4 quarters) into the cavity with 7.5 ml / ½ tbsp of chopped sage and one clove of garlic.
- Place 2 leaves of sage onto the bird’s breast.
- Sprinkle over a little zest of lemon and place on a bay leaf.
- Season with black pepper.
- Pre heat oven to 160 °C / 180 °F / gas mark 4, or alternatively, cook in the ground or around a boma.
- Mix together the salt and flour and stir well.
- Fold in the egg whites.
- Add enough of the water to form rough dough, cover dough and leave to rest for 15 – 20 minutes in the refrigerator.
- When the crust has rested, knead thoroughly, to form a smooth ball, divide mixture between 4.
- Roll out on a lightly dusted surface to around 5mm (¼ inch) thick.
- Take a bird and fold around the pastry to completely seal, breast side down – repair any holes with the pastry.
- If presenting at table, cut out chicken leg shapes from the pastry and glue on with a little egg wash.
- Mark out a feather decoration carefully with the point of a knife, lightly brush with egg wash.
- Dust with a little more salt and place into a pre-heated oven.
- 12 oz – 1 lb (340g – 450g) piece of chicken will take approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
- Remove crust or serve with crust intact ensuring that the crust is not eaten.
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