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Your secrets to crispy chicken skin

ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 07:26 AM


I was wondering what your methods are for baking crispy chicken skin (no frying!) My chicken always comes out tasty and moist, but the skin is flaccid and - kind of gross, to be honest. I don't know if it's the temperature I'm cooking at, if I should be broiling to finish it off, or what?! Any suggestions??

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  1. alanbarnes RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 08:32 AM

    To be crispy, the skin has to start dry and stay dry. Patting it thoroughly with paper towels is a good start, but putting the bird in front of a fan for an hour will really do the trick. If you can hang it from a hook so the juices can drip out and the carcass can rotate freely in front of the fan, even better.

    A sprinkling of kosher salt will tend to bring moisture to the surface, where the heat of the oven will evaporate it. And getting some separation from the meat from will also enhance crispiness. Rubbing butter under the skin is an easy way to do this, but some cooks will actually use a bicycle pump or air compressor to inflate the skin, forcing it away from the meat.

    In the oven, any temperature between 300 and 450 can give you nicely crispy skin. But you have to make sure that there's nothing preventing air circulation. Use a shallow roasting pan and a rack that holds the chicken above the edge of pan. Start the chicken face-down, and flip it over about a third of the way through the cooking process.

    Roasting a chicken isn't brain surgery. Follow a few simple rules, be willing to engage in trial and error, and you should have it down fairly soon. Good luck.

    6 Replies
    1. re: alanbarnes
      Indirect Heat RE: alanbarnes Apr 20, 2010 10:14 AM

      Ruhlman's "Too stupid to cook" chicken has resulted in the best chicken skin I've ever made. Delish. It's basically what alanbarnes is saying. Dry the chicken. Salt with 1 tbsp of kosher salt. Cook it in an oven crazy hot (450).


      1. re: Indirect Heat
        greygarious RE: Indirect Heat Apr 20, 2010 06:32 PM

        Sarah Moulton has the 45 rule. 4.5# chicken for 45 min at 450 degrees. Easy to remember, and as a landmark to compare to if your bird is a little smaller or larger.

      2. re: alanbarnes
        sbp RE: alanbarnes Apr 20, 2010 12:26 PM

        All good tips. Cooks Illustrated also suggests adding some baking powder to the salt. Seems to act as a drying agent. I've done it a few times, it does promote crispy skin and doesn't leave an aftertaste. I'd do it more often but I generally simply forget.

        1. re: alanbarnes
          RGC1982 RE: alanbarnes Apr 20, 2010 05:59 PM

          I just had a vision of DH coming home to find a chicken swinging from a ceiling hook in front of a fan. I think it would be worth a few laughs just to try.

          But -- you are absolutely right. Dry skin is essential. To be explicit, the OP needs to start the chicken pieces, if cooking pieces, skin side down and then flip for the final cooking. I have been known to use a half sheet pan just to get really crispy skin because there is a lot of room and no steaming.

          If cooking a whole bird, one of those nice V shaped racks are the best, and there is no need to flip the bird over. I also have one of those Showtime rotisserie ovens, and the skin is always perfect on those chickens. I just add salt and pepper.

          Finally, I do like my vertical roaster, but only for the top half of the chicken. I bought one of these when I thought it might be an good substitue for outdoor cooking of beer can chicken, which has the crispiest skin of all. It seems to do only the top half (white meat) crispy, and leaves the bottom a little soggy where the legs are, because they are below the pan line. If you can get a wire vertical roaster and set it in a roasting pan, that may be a good way to go..

          1. re: RGC1982
            greygarious RE: RGC1982 Apr 20, 2010 06:35 PM

            Jam the bird onto the vertical roaster neck side DOWN. The juices from the legs baste the breast, which doesn't overcook if it's at the bottom.

            1. re: greygarious
              Phurstluv RE: greygarious May 20, 2010 09:39 AM

              Exactly, you had it upside down, friend!!

        2. d
          Diane in Bexley RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 08:39 AM

          This may be out of your reach, but a convection oven, with the constantly blowing fan makes incredibly crispy chicken. I don't air dry it, but do sprinkle kosher salt on it, do start it breast side down on either a rack or a cookie sheet (lined in foil), to give maximum air circulation to the skin. I like kosher chickens, which have been soaked and salted, I feel they are both moister and crispier than regular.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Diane in Bexley
            Phurstluv RE: Diane in Bexley Apr 20, 2010 03:13 PM

            I do both, and you're absolutely right, Diane, they are!!

          2. m
            mtomto RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 09:26 AM

            Salt the skin at least for 4 to 6 hours prior to cook. Not enough to make you choke from the salt, just enough to get all over te skin. Then put it in the frig and allow it to air dry. Works like a charm.

            If youre going to leave in longer, whic is a good idea, you can loosely cver for a while but still allow it to get air. Pat the chicken skin witha paper towel to dry when ready to cook.

            1. d
              debmom RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 09:30 AM

              I find the less I do to a chicken the crispier it is. That said I just season and bake (350 or 375) . My mother bastes it but I find that makes the skin soft. when I cook a whole bird I start it on the back and turn it over so it won't dry out. Good luck.

              1. m
                monopod RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 12:19 PM

                One thing to keep in mind: the hotter the temp the crisper the skin, BUT also the more smoke you get. In a kitchen with a professional-quality hood that's not an issue, but in my kitchen I find anything over 400 causes fire alarms to go off. I usually do 400 until the skin is as brown as I want it to be, then lower it to 350 until a thermometer says it's done. And ditto on drying the skin, salting before cooking, using an uncovered roasting pan with the chicken on a rack, and not basting. If you do that, there's no way the skin will be anything other than crackling and delicious.

                3 Replies
                1. re: monopod
                  jvanderh RE: monopod Apr 20, 2010 01:37 PM

                  I hear that if you use a roasting pan that's just the size of the bird, you won't get smoke. I often cram my chickens into a dutch oven, although that may not be ideal from an air circulation perspective.

                  1. re: monopod
                    RealMenJulienne RE: monopod May 21, 2010 03:01 AM

                    If I want to avoid the smoke with crispy high-heat roasted chicken I pour about 1/4 inch table salt into the pan, then roast the chicken directly ON THE RACK above the pan. The salt soaks up the drippings and seems to keep them from burning in the pan. The downside is you can't make a pan sauce with this method.

                    1. re: RealMenJulienne
                      melissa511 RE: RealMenJulienne Aug 19, 2012 08:34 AM

                      I've heard Christopher Kimball suggest the salt-in-the-pan thing when you're broiling meat, only with kosher salt in the bottom of the broiler pan. I'm going to try it today when I'm broiling pork slices for a Vietnamese salad ... we'll see how it goes. I think I'll also put a fan near the smoke alarm, because I live in a fairly new apartment with an industrial-style smoke alarm that could wake the dead.

                  2. k
                    karykat RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 01:37 PM

                    Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller has a braised chicken thigh recipe. At the end, he quickly broils the chicken just to crisp the skin.

                    We have applied this technique to our asian braised chicken from the All About Braising book with success.

                    1. Phurstluv RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 03:12 PM

                      I dry brine my skin on breasts uncovered in the fridge, so the air can circulate and dry them out.

                      Also, it helps if you have a convection oven, works beautifully every time to evenly brown anything.

                      1. epabella RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 03:42 PM

                        all posts are great, follow them and you'll get great results. i'd just like to add my method: baste the chicken pieces in a collander with boiling salted water, then let pat dry with paper towels and leave under an electric fan for at least an hour. i always get great results this way.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: epabella
                          Phurstluv RE: epabella Apr 20, 2010 05:35 PM

                          Interesting. What is the point to the pouring of boiling water over them?

                          1. re: Phurstluv
                            epabella RE: Phurstluv Apr 20, 2010 07:02 PM

                            i stole this technique from chinese chefs preparing duck. i suppose the salted water will aid in dehydrating the surface.

                            1. re: epabella
                              Phurstluv RE: epabella May 20, 2010 09:40 AM

                              Ahhhhh. Okay. Still prefer my dry brining method tho, but good to know.

                        2. z
                          zfalcon RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 04:04 PM

                          If this is something like chicken thighs or breasts, you can dry the chicken thoroughly, pan frying skin side down on a cast iron pan for a few minutes, and then flipping it over and throwing in the oven.

                          1. ucanahdooit RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 07:14 PM

                            Wow! So many great responses. The fan is probably a bit much for me (I'm studying for the bar, I need to try more fast ways to cook) but one day, alas, I'll try that. Thanks very much everyone!

                            Also, just curious: what does kosher salt do that a "fancier" salt wouldn't? I have some special salts I've been using (lately a fan of the Himalayan stuff), but is there more of a drying property specifically to kosher salt?

                            Thanks again.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: ucanahdooit
                              Indirect Heat RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 07:28 PM

                              For fast, try Ruhlman. Really, 2 minutes of prep time, and a perfect crispy skin. You can study for the bar while it cooks.

                              All salt is sodium chloride. Some of the fancier salts have other stuff in them that changes the colour, and makes it more fun for a preparation where you can see the salt crystals. As to kosher v regular, kosher salt is just a slightly different texture, and is nicer for dry preparations (like rubbing on chicken skin). If you're putting salt in soup or sauce, they're basically the same.

                              1. re: Indirect Heat
                                ucanahdooit RE: Indirect Heat Apr 20, 2010 07:35 PM

                                Thanks :) I will certainly try that . I'll stick to kosher salt for now and see where it takes me!

                                1. re: ucanahdooit
                                  greygarious RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 08:38 PM

                                  If memory serves, the Cooks Illustrated people said they use kosher because it is easier for this purpose - because it is flakes, it stays where you put it better than table salt, whose crystals tend to bounce off.

                                  1. re: greygarious
                                    Phurstluv RE: greygarious May 20, 2010 09:42 AM

                                    It's also VERY easy to overdo it with regular table salt, the crystals are so fine, and will be absorbed much quicker, therefore leading to over-salting.

                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      pericolosa RE: greygarious Apr 30, 2011 08:53 AM

                                      Whether the Kosher salt flakes will depend on if you get Diamond's (flakes) or Morton's (pellets) brand. There's also Maldon's (non Kosher) sea salt flakes. Pricey, but great tasting.

                                      Also a nice thing about Kosher is that it is very pure and non-iodized, so no funky aftertaste.

                              2. rabaja RE: ucanahdooit Apr 20, 2010 10:23 PM

                                Lately, one of my favorite quick meals to make is roasted chicken thighs.
                                I bone them out, leave the skin on and salt and pepper them pretty generously. These go into a quarter sheet pan (cooking for one=small pan) lined with parchment and into a 450 degree oven.
                                When I start to hear em sizzle I might crank up the oven to 500 for 5 minutes just to get the skin nice and crispy, but if I'm feeling patient I just let them do their thing.
                                When they are browned and firm to the touch I pull them out and let them rest. While they are roasting I have plenty of time to make sides, shower, whatever...the beauty of this dinner is how easy it is and how it cooks itself.
                                To be honest, I don't always eat all the skin because I like to watch my fat intake, but it comes out crispy, salty and delicious, so it's hard to resist.
                                Clean up is a breeze because of the parchment too!

                                edit to add: not sure if the OP was only looking for whole chicken recipes, hope this applies too.

                                1. Funwithfood RE: ucanahdooit Apr 21, 2010 12:03 AM

                                  Finish on high heat, convection if you have it.

                                  1. speyerer RE: ucanahdooit May 19, 2010 08:08 PM

                                    Here is a link to several excellent fried chicken recipes plus several tips on achieving the much desired crispy skin.

                                    1. c
                                      Claudette RE: ucanahdooit May 20, 2010 10:59 AM

                                      My method looks funny, but it never fails to make people ask me for the recipe:

                                      I separate the skin from the flesh carefully, and salt under the skin, then refrigerate for a day. Then roast at 425 degrees until done (any higher and my smoke alarm goes off, so do what you can in your kitchen). Carefully cut off the skin from the entire chicken with kitchen shears and then cut skin into strips about 2" wide. Place on broiler pan and broil carefully until brown, stiff, and crispy, like bacon. Place on paper towel, and then put a strip on each plate (otherwise people will hog the pieces and fight each other for them). When I'm lazy, I just put the strips in my toaster oven and toast for a few minutes.

                                      13 Replies
                                      1. re: Claudette
                                        visciole RE: Claudette May 20, 2010 11:18 AM

                                        I have that problem with my smoke alarm too -- I usually position a small table fan right under it and turn it on before attempting to cook anything at high oven temperature! It works really well.

                                        1. re: visciole
                                          Phurstluv RE: visciole May 20, 2010 12:33 PM

                                          What a great idea.

                                          1. re: visciole
                                            alanbarnes RE: visciole May 20, 2010 02:43 PM

                                            I put a cheap shower cap that I liberated from a hotel room over the detector.

                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                              dmd_kc RE: alanbarnes May 21, 2010 01:42 PM

                                              In my recent kitchen remodel, I bought a smoke detector with a temporary-disable button. If it goes off, you hit the button to disable it for 20 minutes.

                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: alanbarnes Apr 17, 2011 12:36 AM

                                                i tried the shower cap trick on the detector in my last house, and the thing went off like crazy when i went to secure it around - some sort of safety mechanism i guess :) but as visciole suggested, a strategically placed fan can work quite well.

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  jvanderh RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 17, 2011 06:16 AM

                                                  That's too funny. What a sophisticated smoke alarm.

                                                  My MCAT chemistry review book says that salting the chicken 30 minutes before cooking is ideal because the water comes to the surface to dilute the salt, then the solution gets sucked back into the chicken. I am curious to try it, because I never plan far enough to let the chicken skin dry in the fridge.

                                                  1. re: jvanderh
                                                    goodhealthgourmet RE: jvanderh Apr 17, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                    if the review material for the MCAT had been cooking-related back when i took it, i probably would have scored much higher ;)

                                                    interesting option - please report back if you do try it.

                                                    1. re: jvanderh
                                                      Phurstluv RE: jvanderh Apr 17, 2011 05:02 PM

                                                      Yes, this is known as dry brining. I do it all the time. You should do it for bone in breasts, though , not boneless, they are a bit too delicate so I only do it for bone in breasts, or a whole chicken. I don't do it on boneless pork chops either, wet brining works better for them.

                                                      1. re: Phurstluv
                                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: Phurstluv Apr 17, 2011 06:12 PM

                                                        but dry brining is usually done for several hours or overnight, not for 30 minutes.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                          c oliver RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 17, 2011 06:25 PM

                                                          That's what I'd thought. I get SO confused :) I do the Zuni one for two to three days.

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                            Phurstluv RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 18, 2011 03:49 PM

                                                            Yes, ghg you're right, and I usually do it for a couple of days, if I have that luxury of time. Sometimes I don't and with a husband and hungry kids to feed, sometimes things only brine for a few hours. Nonetheless, the chemical reaction still occurs and helps the skin to dry out a bit, which is the key to it coming out crispy.

                                                            Maybe, according to jvanderh's MCAT (Masters of Chemistry? Way beyond my pay grade!!) has shown that 30 minutes is all you need. My chicken breasts seem to do fine whether it is a few hours or a few days. My fridge is cold enough (it is now only used for beer, champagne & meat, since it freezes everything else!!) that it deters any rapid breakdown of the meat. But I know when I have a large beef roast or steaks, I keep them in for up to five days or so, since they do start to look a bit dessicated, but that is the natural process of the enzymes in the meat breaking down, hence it starts to become dry aged.

                                                            I know, c o, it IS confusing. I guess I've been doing it for so long now, I don't even think about it. My kids are used to opening the fridge in the garage and seeing raw meat on a rack in it while they get out their gatorades. I only feel badly for the babysitter, since she is vegetarian, I will probably push her to become a vegan, if I keep subjecting her to that particular sight!!! ;p)

                                                            1. re: Phurstluv
                                                              goodhealthgourmet RE: Phurstluv Apr 18, 2011 07:22 PM

                                                              MCAT = Medical College Admissions test. it's the med school equivalent of the LSAT for law school or GMAT for an MBA program.

                                                2. re: Claudette
                                                  Chowbird RE: Claudette Mar 30, 2013 08:59 AM

                                                  I was going to suggest exactly this! You won't BELIEVE how good the extra-crispy strips of chicken skin are!

                                                  Is there a name or word for them? The Hubby and I nicknamed them "Chickarrones," but surely there's a "real" word out there somewhere . . .

                                                3. c
                                                  cocktailhour RE: ucanahdooit May 20, 2010 11:17 AM

                                                  In addition to dry skin with salt, I recently received a tip to try some garlic powder on the skin as well. It did seem to make it crispier, and it was quite delicious. I also believe in blasting the chicken in a 425 or 450 oven. it's so fast I don't have to worry about flipping or anything

                                                  1. t
                                                    tonka11_99 RE: ucanahdooit May 20, 2010 11:25 AM

                                                    The only thing I would do differently than alanbarnes post is I would dry the chicken in the refrigerator. You can put some kosher salt on the skin and put it on a pan in the refrigerator with no cover for 2 hours. That will dry the skin up. Just before baking put some oil or butter on the skin. The last 20 minutes, if you think it needs it bump the temperature up to 400.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: tonka11_99
                                                      Phurstluv RE: tonka11_99 May 20, 2010 12:34 PM

                                                      Or use an oil spray, like Pam, which won't add significantly to the fat/calorie content.

                                                      1. re: Phurstluv
                                                        ratgirlagogo RE: Phurstluv May 23, 2010 03:12 PM

                                                        Yes, I was wondering if I was really the only one here who oiled the chicken first. This has been my big discovery as of about five years ago and it's made a huge difference. Olive oil (with kosher salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, maybe dried herbs) in a hot cast iron skillet into a 450 oven. The skin is really nice and crispy this way, though I'm sure a convection oven would get significantly better results.

                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                          c oliver RE: ratgirlagogo May 23, 2010 03:29 PM

                                                          If you look at the Zuni recipe, you'll see that it uses no oil and it's the crispiest chicken I've ever seen.

                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo
                                                            Phurstluv RE: ratgirlagogo May 23, 2010 04:24 PM

                                                            I don't oil my chicken breast skin, I prefer to air dry. But Pam works well in a pinch. And yes, convection is a Godsend.

                                                      2. c oliver RE: ucanahdooit May 20, 2010 03:42 PM

                                                        I just made the classic Zuni roast chicken a few nights ago. It was the best, moist and golden brown. And no oil or butter at all.


                                                        1. t
                                                          tryptophan RE: ucanahdooit May 20, 2010 10:26 PM

                                                          One thing you may want to pay attention to is the chicken itself.

                                                          Perdue for example sells a 'Fresh All Natural - Whole Chicken' and 'Fresh All Natural - Extra Meaty™ Whole Roaster' (per website). If you look at the labels closely you'll see a 'less than x% retained water', that percentage varying between products. The water retention, which must be disclosed, is from post plucking chill tanks and more controversially from brining.

                                                          Truss, salt, pepper, sprig rosemary in cavity, 425º for an hour, trips my smoke alarm at 45min.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: tryptophan
                                                            alanbarnes RE: tryptophan May 20, 2010 10:38 PM

                                                            I brine all my chickens before roasting them. It doesn't keep the bird from having a perfectly crispy skin.

                                                            1. re: alanbarnes
                                                              tryptophan RE: alanbarnes May 24, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                              True, good point.

                                                              1. re: alanbarnes
                                                                RealMenJulienne RE: alanbarnes May 24, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                                I used to brine before roasting, but I always had to let the bird dry out at room temperature to get crispy skin. Now instead of brining I just salt liberally and let it dry in the fridge overnight to skip the drying step. It gives a crispy skin and a better meat texture than liquid brining, I think.

                                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                  epabella RE: RealMenJulienne May 25, 2010 01:41 AM

                                                                  gary rhoads in china just proved the beauty of wet brining, in fact they brine twice - once in hot salted water, next in heated sugared vinegar. i'll be trying this in the weekend.

                                                            2. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: ucanahdooit May 24, 2010 10:35 PM

                                                              I had housemates that would cook the chicken at high heat, no seasoning and it turned out great, I never knew how much flavor the fat from inside the skin could impart while cooking. I've done it with and without salt and have got the same results. The 45 min at 450 rule works great for whole birds and slightly less time for chicken parts. I've put it in the oven wet and dry, I've used supermarket brand, fancy free range and other name brands, I own a pathetic 30 year old oven and I have found no matter what I do that high heat is my friend. I use a broiler pan too and line the bottom pan with foil. I put the chicken in first thing when I get home and by the time I've changed, put together a salad and have gone through the mail it's dinner time and I have a nice chicken dinner to enjoy!

                                                              1. a
                                                                Atochabsh RE: ucanahdooit Apr 16, 2011 11:48 PM

                                                                super easy and a cheater method. Look for Dixie Fry coating mix in the dry goods aisl e. Simply coat the chicken pieces with it, and oven bake. Skin crisps up just fine and tastes great.

                                                                1. m
                                                                  mike9 RE: ucanahdooit Aug 19, 2012 09:55 AM

                                                                  I like to brine my chicken - either whole, or pieces. Pieces don't take as long to brine, but getting the moisture out of the bird and drying the skin takes longer. It's worth it as the brine flavors it right to the bone and the skin turns out nice and crisp. Who doesn't like crispy chicken skin???

                                                                  1. d
                                                                    Dirtywextraolives RE: ucanahdooit Aug 19, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                                    I'm sure it's been said above: dry out the bird before you roast it. A salt dry brine works wonders.

                                                                    1. ipsedixit RE: ucanahdooit Aug 19, 2012 08:34 PM

                                                                      Give the bird a bath in a baking soda slurry.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                        evansp60 RE: ipsedixit Aug 20, 2012 03:51 PM

                                                                        I was reading this wondering when someone was going to mention baking soda.
                                                                        Not a slurrry in my world, it goes on dry and is left overnight then poped in the oven the next day for a really crispy skin. No issues with the baking powder, just dust the bird as you would with flour. no need to go crazy, but do it the day before, very nice.

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                          sbp RE: ipsedixit Aug 20, 2012 06:37 PM

                                                                          Any relevant functional differences between baking powder and baking soda?

                                                                          1. re: sbp
                                                                            ipsedixit RE: sbp Aug 20, 2012 08:57 PM


                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                              sbp RE: ipsedixit Aug 24, 2012 07:54 AM

                                                                              Yeah, ipse, I knew that. That's why I worded it as "functional" difference rather than chemical. But I did know it might confuse.

                                                                              1. re: sbp
                                                                                ipsedixit RE: sbp Aug 24, 2012 12:51 PM

                                                                                I believe it might be functional.

                                                                            2. re: sbp
                                                                              1POINT21GW RE: sbp Aug 20, 2012 09:54 PM

                                                                              You should use baking powder, not baking soda. Baking soda will give it a bitter flavor.

                                                                              The night before, mix your kosher salt, baking powder, and black pepper together and season the bird all over with this mixture. Place the chicken on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight. Air drying the bird coated with baking powder will make for very dry skin which will, in turn, yield thin and crispy skin.

                                                                          2. j
                                                                            JudiAU RE: ucanahdooit Aug 24, 2012 10:31 AM

                                                                            We use the Zuni Method more or less. Pre-salt the small chicken + let the skin dry out in the fridge + high heat. Lovely stuff.

                                                                            1. fldhkybnva RE: ucanahdooit Mar 29, 2013 05:26 PM

                                                                              I hate to revive this thread but the topic is exactly my question. For either chicken parts or a whole roasted chicken do you rest uncovered to save the crispy skin? If so, how do you keep it warm?

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                jvanderh RE: fldhkybnva Mar 29, 2013 11:13 PM

                                                                                Apologies if anyone has pointed this out, but using non solution-injected chicken makes a really big difference. If you use solution injected (the factory farmed stuff from the grocery store), it will help a bit to dry the skin well, but you'll still have saltwater pouring out of the bird as it cooks.

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                  MartiniGenie RE: fldhkybnva Mar 30, 2013 09:32 AM

                                                                                  The crispiest skin I have gotten is by using chicken thighs. I heat a stainless skillet to MH, season the skins using S&P, thyme and rubbed sage and put the thighs in skin down and leave them until they are loose from the pan. Season the undersides same as the top, flip and cook for 5 more minutes. Then I place in the oven at 350F until done. The fat will render out and by pouring it off, leaving the thighs to rest on another platter, there is a lot of delicious brown bits (frons) to make a sauce or gravy with.

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                    calumin RE: fldhkybnva Mar 30, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                    I broil chicken thighs on high setting. 14 minutes skin side down, then 10 minutes skin side up. I marinade them in something like a Hawaiian teriyaki liquid (not thick) marinade, but very little sugar (equal parts soy sauce and sake, some herbs, a little water, and a tablespoon of sugar). If you use something sugary then the skin might burn when you broil, but this approach works for me and the skin is very crispy.

                                                                                  2. PoppiYYZ RE: ucanahdooit Jul 10, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                                    Perfectly moist meat, super crispy skin - guaranteed :

                                                                                    Remove backbone, cut chicken in half through breast bone.
                                                                                    Remove any excess fat.
                                                                                    Sprinkle both sides with S+P.
                                                                                    Lay on foil lined baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil.
                                                                                    Bake at 350F for 90 minutes, basting occasionally.

                                                                                    All fat from skin renders out evenly basting the meat, skin is the crispiest ever, easy to quarter bird for serving, and virtually no mess to clean !

                                                                                    For a Greek version : add a sprinkle with onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, and squeeze of lemon juice before baking.

                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                                      fldhkybnva RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 10, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                                                      What size chicken for 90 minutes? I usually buy pretty small chickens so just want to gauge timing.

                                                                                      1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                                        c oliver RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 10, 2013 09:17 AM

                                                                                        What's your internal temp at that point? That seems like an awful long time for a spatchcocked bird...unless it's REALLY large.

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          PoppiYYZ RE: c oliver Jul 10, 2013 10:12 AM

                                                                                          Average large sized air chilled bird. I usually grab the bigger bird from the case.

                                                                                          I have seen temps up to 180, but the meat stays moist, and the skin gets really crispy. I have tried taking them out earlier, but stay with 90 minutes so almost all the fat gets rendered out.

                                                                                          There is excess fat, under the skin, in the thigh area. I cut the skin where the thigh meets the leg and take that fat out too.

                                                                                          Try it. Works great for Peruvian and Indian tandoori spiced too.


                                                                                          1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                                            c oliver RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 10, 2013 10:33 AM

                                                                                            Whoa! 180? I'm pullin' at 160. I'm such a devotee of the Zuni chicken that I'm probably not switching :)

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                              PoppiYYZ RE: c oliver Jul 10, 2013 10:46 AM

                                                                                              Try it once, you'll never roast a bird whole again.

                                                                                              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                                                c oliver RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 10, 2013 09:48 PM

                                                                                                I respect your opinion but I'm not budging :) Especially for one done to 180. Sorry.

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  PoppiYYZ RE: c oliver Jul 13, 2013 05:49 PM

                                                                                                  Creeeeeeeek (the sound of rusty hinges).

                                                                                                  If you are puckered about the temp, then why not try and pull at 160 (or what ever temp you prefer). 160 will still give you super crispy skin.

                                                                                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                                                                    c oliver RE: PoppiYYZ Jul 13, 2013 06:01 PM

                                                                                                    HA!!! I don't know if I mentioned this here but I once started a thread asking those who had made the Zuni chicken had they ever made one they liked better. IIRC, no one had. So that's my rationals. And I'm sticking to it!

                                                                                      2. macca RE: ucanahdooit Jul 10, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                                        I always make sure the skin is dry- I like to put lemon and butter under the skin ( Almost always us thighs), coat the skin with olive oil, S/P, and bake. Always results in crispy, tasty skin.

                                                                                        1. t
                                                                                          TomMeg1970 RE: ucanahdooit Jul 10, 2013 10:40 AM

                                                                                          One thing you try is

                                                                                          1. roast your chicken at a fairly low heat (275-300F) until the meat is cooked. At this point the skin will not be crispy.

                                                                                          2. let the chicken cool off on the counter for an hour or so, until it's just barely warm.

                                                                                          3. crank your oven up to 500F, turn on the convection function if you have it.

                                                                                          4. put the chicken back in the oven for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on it) to crisp the skin.

                                                                                          I find that a piping hot interior will often inhibit exterior crisping in a lot of foods. By letting the chicken cool off, and then effectively re-heating it from the outside in, the skin crisps up nicely.

                                                                                          This principle also explains why I prefer freezing many baked goods (muffins, scones, biscuits) and then carefully reheating them the next day in the toaster oven versus eating them freshly baked. Crunchier crust.

                                                                                          1. girloftheworld RE: ucanahdooit Jul 13, 2013 08:45 PM

                                                                                            Start the day before by taking it out of its packinging
                                                                                            pat it dry
                                                                                            sit in the fridge by its lonessome so it doesnt poison anything
                                                                                            take it out the next day pat it dry
                                                                                            let it come to room temp
                                                                                            throw some root veggies in the bottom of a cast iorn skillet
                                                                                            butter and oil bird inside and out
                                                                                            season it
                                                                                            cook at 475 for 20 minutes then lower to 400 for about 40

                                                                                            1. e
                                                                                              ePressureCooker RE: ucanahdooit Aug 11, 2013 09:14 PM

                                                                                              Found this thread when I was researching issues related to my latest blog project, and thought I would share the method I've been testing out. I've still got more testing to do, but so far, looks and tastes really good. (see photo)

                                                                                              I use both my pressure cooker and convection oven to make the roast chicken. My method requires no advance preparation, in fact, you can use frozen chicken if yo want. I pressure cook the chicken (its worked with both whole chicken and bone-in chicken parts) at 10 PSI (15 PSI would work, too, just for less time) until the meat is mostly cooked, but not all the way. Using the pressure cooker has the advantage of really softening the meat, as if it were brined, and it also renders a lot of the fat and moisture out of the skin as well. If I do a whole chicken, I pressure cook it breast side up, if I do chicken parts, I put them on a vegetable steamer above the water level.

                                                                                              I then gently remove the chicken from the pressure cooker, and put it on a cutting board to cool down until I can handle it. Once it has, I gently dab the skin surface dry with a paper towel and brush melted butter all over the surface of the skin. (One of the things I wanted to test was drying the skin out overnight in the fridge, as was mentioned earlier, another was using baking powder, also previously mentioned.) I then put it in the convection oven at 450 degrees to get the skin (which will be paper thin by the time its finished) evenly brown and crispy.

                                                                                              I also want to experiment with putting fresh herbs under the skin, etc. because the skin has a lovely Thanksgiving turkey reminiscent taste...

                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                mickeyz RE: ucanahdooit Jan 11, 2014 11:28 PM

                                                                                                I roast my chicken in various ways. If I want really crisp skin, I remove it and microwave it. This is especially nice with skin from leftover chicken. Comes out shatteringly crisp. I use it as a garnish for just about anything - if it last long enough once I remove it from the microwave oven. It has an intense chicken flavor and a great mouth-feel.

                                                                                                1. h
                                                                                                  HUNGRYMAN8 RE: ucanahdooit Jan 23, 2014 02:21 PM

                                                                                                  Deep fry in lard. Pork lard or beef tallow. Simple, natural and healthy. Man made vegetable oils are toxic to humans. Nothing wrong with animal fat. It's nature made and what humans were meant to eat by design. The truth is surfacing and eventually we will all go back to eating healthy like our parents and grandparents.

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