Chicken cooked in ciabatta

Chicken cooked in ciabatta

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  • 6
  • Medium
  • Dairy free
  • 12 hours, plus 3 weeks' fermenting time
  • 1 1⁄4 hours
  • Boschendal Reserve Chardonnay 2014


  • For the fermented soya paste:
  • 500 g soya beans
  • 1 litre water
  • 5 red chillies, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 g sea salt
  • For the marinade, blend:
  • 200 g soya paste
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • 8 rosemary sprigs
  • 1⁄2 t fennel seeds
  • 1⁄2 t black pepper
  • 1 t flaked salt
  • 1⁄4 t fenugeek
  • For the ciabatta dough:
  • For the poolish:
  • 255 g white bread flour
  • 1⁄4 t yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • For the final dough:
  • 2 t yeast
  • 3⁄4 cup lukewarm water, plus 2 T
  • 225 g white bread flour
  • 1 T salt
  • 510 g poolish
  • For the chicken:
  • 1 free-range whole chicken, deboned (without breaking the skin)
  • Flavoured olive oil, for basting
  • Fresh mixed herbs
  • Sea salt, to taste

Cooking Instructions

To make the fermented soya paste, soak the soya beans in the water for 12 hours. Rinse the beans and steam in the oven or over a saucepan for 45 minutes, then cool.

Place the beans in a sterilized jar, then add the remaining ingredients. Cover and allow to ferment for 2 weeks.

After 2 weeks, strain the beans, reserving some of the liquid. Blend using the liquid to make a paste. Return to a clean, sterilized jar and ferment for another week.

Tie the chicken up in a ball, ensuring the skin is intact. Rub with the marinade, then marinate for 3 hours.

To make the ciabatta dough, mix the poolish ingredients and allow to rise in a warm place for 12 hours.

To make the final dough, dissolve the yeast in the water, then add the final dough ingredients and the yeast mixture.

Knead the dough (it will be quite sticky), then set aside to prove for 1 hour in a warm place.

When ready, separate the dough into 2 pieces and place each piece in an oiled container, using the oil on your hands to avoid stretching the dough. Set aside for 30 minutes to prove.

Meanwhile, grill the chicken on the braai until charred and almost cooked.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place one piece of dough in a 25 cm cake ring on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, then place the chicken in the middle (remove the string). Cover the chicken with the remaining piece of dough. Top the dough with olive oil, herbs and sea salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the bread has risen and is golden.

Cook's tip: To make a quick version of this recipe, marinate the chicken using Woolworths’ Korean BBQ marinade instead of making the fermented soya bean paste.

Discover more recipes featuring chicken here.

Abigail Donnelly Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly
View all recipes

Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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  • Kat
    October 18, 2017

    Worth the wait…all good things take time, preparation and love… delicious *wipes drool

    1. default
      November 14, 2017

      Like minds! Thank you so much for your comment! We love hearing from our readers!