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Jan 2, 2014 08:10 AM

crispy chicken skin

after roasting a whole chicken with crisp skin, you let the chicken rest for 10-15 min..and the skin is no longer crisp so I now eat chicken without resting it as suggested by all recipes. Any other methods?

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  1. I'm curious. Do you cover the chicken and hence steam it? Mine just sits on the cutting board uncovered and remains crispy. BTW I do the Zuni method if that matters.

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      No, i don't cover anything I cook in the oven. I just roast the chicken at 450 for about an hour. The skin comes out crisp but after resting it for a while, it is no longer crisp.

      1. re: Monica

        Do you cover the chicken while it's resting?

    2. Hold the chicken inside the oven uncovered @ 140* for up to 2 hours.....just before you eat, remove the chicken from the oven for 5 minutes, while you crank up the oven to 450 and replace the chicken in for 5 minutes.....

      Or you can crisp under the broiler, carefully at the end of your normal resting period.

      4 Replies
      1. re: fourunder

        I respectfully disagree with this method. Two hours at 140 will render the chicken DRY.

        1. re: letsindulge

          @ 140*, you are not cooking....only keeping warm. If the chicken is dry, then it was overcooked to begin with.

          1. re: fourunder

            So are you saying to "under" cook it initially so you can hold it for 2 hours @ 140?

            1. re: letsindulge

              Whichever recipe you use....I don't use a thermometer for chicken....Whether you do a T Keller, Zuni or j.Child...45-75 minute high heat roast...or a lower temperature...once you deem it is done, you reduce the heat in the oven to 140. This is how a Commercial Restaurant or Catering Facility would handle a roasted poultry item...A supermarket will roast to 180+...but I believe the code calls for 165, before you hold. The range of temperature, depending on your local rules, could be anywhere from 135-165 .

              The old standard, used to be 125. but that has since changed for fear of litigation. The cook and hold ovens used to be able to be set @ 100-125..but the newer ones are higher. With regards to *under* cook, that would depend on the size and weight of the chicken, what temperature you roasted at and the time you expect to hold to factor in the carryover effect. At 375*, the carryover will not be as great as if you used 450*. ..and a smaller bird will rise more than a larger one.

              Typically, a restaurant or place like Boston Chicken serving roasted chickens would plan for them to be finished up to two hours in advance and be held, thus being able to put a second batch of chickens to be ready for later service...and repeated if necessary...Whether you like BC or not, i think we could at least agree to be profitable, they would have to cook and hold enough chickens to sell in a manner that is efficient and maintains the integrity and quality of the product.

      2. I let it rest, but I never cover it - the skin stays fairly crispy that way (although not quite as much as if you eat it immediately). I also like to rest it upright, so it doesn't sit in a pool of its own juices - a can or liter bottle works well for this.

        1. Carving it up without resting is a bad idea.

          Do you tent the cooked chicken while you rest it? If so, don't.

          You also can remove the skin while it rests and keep it in the oven or toaster oven.

          1. Key to crispy chicken skin?

            Baking powder.


            10 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Interesting. What do you do? do you sprinkle baking powder on chicken before you roast?

              1. re: Monica

                My does aid in crisping skin, particularly pig skin, but it also alters it to the point it almost weird if left on too long. You also need to brush it with vinegar to neutralize it after applying.

                1. re: fourunder

                  but that would neutralize the alkaline shift which is what speeds up the Maillard reaction

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    I can't help you with the Scientific aspect of the Maillard Reaction...but I'm pretty sure it will still happen. My understanding from others and recipes in magazines for Crispy Cantonese Style Roast Pig, the alkaline from the BS/BP needs to be neutralized so there is no metallic taste.


                    here's a Pork Shoulder I roasted last night to show the effects.

                2. re: Monica

                  Mix a bit with some salt. About 3:1 ratio. Rub it on the skin before roasting.

                  As fourunder mentioned above it's usually used for duck (especially as a short cut for Peking style ducks) but it works just as well with chicken.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Interesting. I wonder if a bit of corn starch will also do the trick.

                    1. re: Monica

                      Hrm... corn starch might do something in more of a crusty, rather than crispy, way, but I'm not sure. I think the alkalinity of the baking soda encourages the Maillard reaction, helping to brown and crisp the skin. (Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong.)