I'm getting conflicting advice on roasting chicken pieces. I want crispy skin. Best method?



HeritageCook September 16, 2010
Follow the Zuni Cafe's guide for cooking chicken and you will be thrilled every time. It is a long brine that draws the liquids out and then lets it reabsorb. It leaves you with a perfectly seasoned bird with crispy skin! http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/9123872/
pierino September 14, 2010
Per chezsuzanne's response, a huge percentage of your supermarket hen is water. Whole Foods sells air chilled birds which are perfect for roasting. I love crispy skin myself and it drives me totally bonkers when people want the skin to be taken off. Weenies! I ran into this recently when I was helping to prep cook for a wedding. I almost threw down my apron and got ready to walk out with my knives.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 14, 2010
Chicken processors use a ton of water during the plucking stage, as I understand it, so there's a lof of water that gets absorbed in to the chicken and skin. So I salt the chicken the night before I'm going to roast it and leave it unwrapped in the frig overnight (loosely wrapped works too). The next day, I remove any moisture on the chicken with a paper towel. Then I prep it as I normally would and roast it. This works for a whole chicken or individual chicken pieces. When roasting, I start at a higher temp like 425F until the chicken skin starts to brown, then lower the temp to 350F for the duration. I get a crispy skin every time.
Jeters September 14, 2010
for a whole chicken the skin should be as dry as possible - salt the skin before roasting and let it - run your fingers to create an air pocket under the skin, butter under there never did anyone harm neither ;)

for chicken parts, I like to sear the chicken skin down for a few minutes in a hot skillet and then finish in the oven.
Amanda H. September 14, 2010
I recommend heating your oven to 400 degrees and heating a cast iron pan over medium-high heat (high if your stove is weak). Add a mix of oil and butter, then the chicken pieces skin-side-down. Saute them until they're golden brown, then transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking, turning them once.
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