Peter Brinkworth, the 81-year-old inventor of chicken salt is probably one of the most iconic Australians.

Chicken salt is such a staple in Aussie lives. I don’t know about you but I put it on just about everything.

After discovering the perfect concoction of spices and salt to rub on a chook being prepared for cooking in the 1970s, Mitani bought Mr Brinkworth’s business idea in 1979.

Brinkworth however says he still maintains the original recipe. Keeping it a secret for more than 40 years. He says it tastes even better than the product you can pick up on any Australian supermarket shelf.

Brinkworth’s story has been brought to the screen by Brisbane’s Film Focus Productions filmmakers Jacob Richardson and Thomas van Kalken.

The 10-minute film Salt of the Earth will screen for the first time at the Adelaide Film Festival on October 20.


Mr Richardson said he tracked down Mr Brinkworth through his wife Helen on social media and after meeting him said he “had to put this guy on the big screen”.

“For us, it’s a good double bill because we’re in front of a documentary itself [Senses of Cinema] which speaks about Australian documentary making,” Mr Richardson said.

So what is the secret to Mr Brinkworth’s chicken salt?

Mr Brinkworth described his amazing discovery as a “simple, natural thing” that happened when he was cooking chickens for his retail food store in Adelaide.

“Instead of putting salt and pepper on them, I made up a mixture to just sprinkle with one go instead of using a dozen different containers,” he said.

“It was just out of laziness more than anything.


“There are a hundred recipes out there today and they all reckon they’re good but mine has salt, chicken stock, MSG, paprika, garlic, onion, celery, some herbs and spices.

“Chicken salt was made as a condiment to flavour a cooked chicken; it had nothing to do with the flavour of chicken in the chicken salt.

“It was not one of these fancy salts to add the flavour of something else, it was just a condiment to flavour chicken, and it went from there.”

And no, there is no curry powder in the original recipe.

Mr Brinkworth said any colour in the salt should be reddish and come from the paprika.

Would you ever try making your own version of chicken salt?

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