Dude Food: Photographer Josh’s Giant Salty Chicken
Josh Shaub is the guy behind most of the photographs in our book. Introduced to us as a food photography expert by a friend, he thought he was just getting a cup of coffee at the newly opened Ace Hotel last March. Little did he know he’d find himself spending several days at several locations, shooting most of the images you see in In the Small Kitchen and some of the ones you see around this site. We owe him big time, not just for his photos, but also for his insights on food styling, lighting, internet business, and more.
Josh is a great cook in his own right, and he and his wife, Tara, have developed a system for feeding themselves and their two adorable blond children (one pictured above) without sacrificing either flavor or time. Their trick is to use flavorful mainstays as ingredients in order to cut down on some of the prep time. Even cooler, Josh and Tara will be coming out with a cookbook, Scoop It! Chop It! Cook It!, next fall.
“GS Chicken (aka Giant Salty Chicken) continues to amaze me with its appeal. So simple, really, a handful of steps, and a constant favorite. We’ve worked this one for about ten years now and it always delivers.”
–Josh Shaub, BGSK contributor, photographer, and dude about town
Giant Salty Chicken
1 whole chicken
Lemons or limes
Start with a whole, plump chicken. Rinse, then place the chicken in a bowl.
Coat the chicken entirely with olive oil, so it has a nice, glowing sheen. Next, add a hearty amount of large flake sea salt. Feel free to improvise here, with herbs de provence, espelette, or any other favored dry rub.
If you prefer, slice two lemons into large chunks, and place within the cavity.
Cooking GS Chicken: Here’s where it gets technical.
Fire up your grill to around 350°F. (I typically cook GS Chicken on a Weber gas grill, with three heating zones).
When at temperature, turn the back zone to high, and the middle zone to medium. Turn the closest zone underneath the chicken off completely (so there’s no direct flame under the chicken. This is key — without a direct flame, we eliminate flare ups).
Place the bird breast down in the corner of the grill, with the legs pointing diagonally towards the center.
After 35 minutes, rotate the bird 180˙ — do not turn it over!
Keep the bird covered, then check again at 50 minutes. If needed, let it ride for up to another 15 minutes.
At this point, all of the fat that started in your GS Chicken should render out completely, leaving crispy skin and moist meat. Once you see the skin start to crackle a bit, you are ready to feast.
Let your GS Chicken sit for about 10 minutes. Hack up with a large cleaver, sprinkle with fresh lemon or lime, then enjoy.
Josh Shaub is a food and lifestyle photographer. Look for his book, Scoop It! Chop It! Cook It! next fall, and enjoy more of his work at verynaturalphoto.com.