Chinese salt baked chicken is known in the Philippines as pinaupong manok (literally, sitting chicken), so called because the chicken is cooked in a bed of salt.

Salt Baked Chicken

Yes, that's pinaupong manok for my Filipino readers. I hope you've read all the text above this recipe because, otherwise, very little of what comes next will make sense.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion


  • 1 whole chicken about 1.5 kilograms in weight
  • 2 tablespoons herb salt (you may make your own seasoning mix)
  • 6 to 8 cups salt rock salt or sea salt BUT NOT table salt


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Rub the herb salt all over the chicken including the cavity.
  • Place the chicken on a rack or strainer and leave to marinate, uncovered (to get rid of surface moisture), in the fridge for at least six hours (overnight is better). 
  • Preheat the oven to 300F.
  • Spread the salt on a baking tray. Bake at 300F 15 minutes. Cool.
  • Turn up the oven temperature to 375F.
  • Take two large squares of non-stick baking paper and place on the counter, one on top of the other (or replace one sheet of paper with wilted banana leaves).
  • Place the chicken on the paper (or banana leaves and paper) and wrap as you would a sandwich. Secure with kitchen twine.
  • Take about two cups of the baked salt and spread on the bottom of a Dutch oven.
  • Place the wrapped chicken on top of the salt.
  • Take the remaining salt and pour over the wrapped chicken to cover and seal completely.
  • Cover your Dutch oven and bake the chicken at 375F for an hour. Turn off the oven but leave the chicken inside the oven (no peeking) for another 30 minutes.
  • Carefully dig out the wrapped chicken from the salt (sturdy kitchen tongs are useful) and move to a chopping board.
  • Cut the wrappings and discard. 
  • Chop the chicken into serving size pieces. Alternatively, serve whole and let everyone pull off the meat as they eat.