" Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous" Under Cover Chicks

If you're bored of the same old chicken routine, all it takes are some leeks, cheesecloth, pliable salt dough and a little coaching from Claud to transform your chicken to CIA status..."Under Cover Chicks."


  • One 3 to 4-pound free-range organic chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • Dry sherry, as needed
  • 1 leek, green portion blanched & white portion cut into 2 -inch pieces
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 5-10 small dry chiles, i.e. chile de arbol
  • 7 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lapsang Souchong tea leaves
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups water

1. Arrange oven rack to the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400F.

2. Rub the cavity of the chicken with sherry and then place the white portion of the leek, the lemons, and chilies inside. Brush the leek with sherry and place uncovered in the refrigerator 1-2 hours.

3. Truss the legs of the chicken together, layer the blanched green portion of the leek over the chicken and then brush the leek with sherry and place uncovered in the refrigerator 1-2 hours.

4. Combine the flour, salt, tea leaves and egg whites in a large bowl and slowly add enough water to form pliable dough. Knead a few minutes and then form into a ball.

5. Roll out a little less than half of the dough to a half-inch thickness and place in a half sheet pan. Place the chicken over the salt dough breast-side up and then roll out and cover with the remaining dough. Seal the edges well and bake in the preheated oven for two hours, or until an instant read thermometer poked into the thigh reads 165F.

6. To serve, use a paring knife to cut around the base of the crust and lift off the top. Cut chicken into pieces and serve with your favorite couscous.

Serves 4

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