Slow-Roasted Chicken With Extra-Crisp Skin From Lindsay Maitland Hunt

April 21, 2020
18 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is a best-of-all-worlds roast chicken. In one simple recipe, you get both extremely tender, rotisserie-esque meat, plus the crispiest skin imaginable. Unheard of! It’s also just about impossible to overcook and extra-easy to carve, and not one bit will go to waste—all thanks to one of the more surprising Genius tricks yet.

As the author Lindsay Maitland Hunt writes, “I wasn’t trying to rethink classic roast chicken when I went about creating this recipe, but in the end, I came up with a new go-to recipe that’s quite nearly foolproof, especially for people scared of carving a chicken. Slow roasting makes the meat fall-off-the-bone tender—read: easy to neatly pull off every piece with your fingers.

“Then there's the other goal of a great roast bird: crispy skin. Too often the meat ends up overcooked for the sake of the skin. Not here. After roasting the meat, you'll slip the skin off and crips it up in the oven until it’s as crunchy as a chip. Save the bones for making broth.

“When I’m organized enough to prep ahead for the week, I'll cook this recipe along with some other go-to essentials for off-the-cuff meals or create an entire menu with the chicken as the centerpiece.”

Recipe adapted slightly from Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, August 2020).

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Slow-Roasted Chicken With Extra-Crisp Skin From Lindsay Maitland Hunt
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken, patted dry
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered, plus additional wedges for serving
  • 1 large sprig rosemary (and/or other fresh, sturdy herbs like thyme or sage)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (and/or other fresh, soft herbs like chives, dill, or fennel fronds)
  • Flaky sea salt (optional)
  1. Heat your oven to 300°F with a rack in the center position.
  2. Stuff the chicken with the quartered lemon and the rosemary and season it all over with the salt. Grind pepper generously over the top. Set the chicken breast-side up on a rimmed baking sheet or in a small roasting pan.
  3. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chicken thigh registers 165°F, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Crank the oven up to 425°F.
  4. Pull the skin off the entire chicken. It helps to use a paring knife to cut the skin; if it’s too hot to touch, use tongs to pull the skin back. Don’t forget the skin on the bottom of the chicken. Place the chicken skin on a clean rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Roast the chicken skin until deep golden brown and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. While the skin roasts, carve the chicken—it should be quite easy to slice or pull apart. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter. Save the bones for broth. Pour off any juices from the pan into a small bowl or saucepan, and cover to keep warm.
  7. Pull the crispy skin out of the oven. Crumble the crispy skin over the sliced chicken and drizzle with the juices from both pans. Sprinkle with the parsley, some freshly ground black pepper and some flaky sea salt (if you want). Serve with lemon wedges alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Christine
  • tracy riser
    tracy riser
  • debplusthree
  • Grace Wong
    Grace Wong
  • Kristen Miglore
    Kristen Miglore
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Recipe by: Genius Recipes

35 Reviews

Dave November 11, 2022
Bogus title for a recipe where you simply roast a chicken until you can pull the skin off and then crisp up the skin. Really?!?!? Who hasn't done that? Let's get with some recipes that are a little more complex - or very simple but worthy of the title of the recipe. I honestly don't know what the point of this or the hoopla you made about it is.
SB March 9, 2021
I have tried many "crispy skin" chicken recipes over the years with some decent success (overnight salting had been my go to.)
Once I tried this one, it became the only whole chicken I will make. I even made it for Thanksgiving since I'm not a big fan of turkey anyway. It was a hit all around, and I can't get over the skin. It's the main reason i want to make this bird. All. The. Time.
I can hardly wait to make it for my parents once I can safely see them again!
Julie February 11, 2021
This is the best chicken recipe I know of. Just made it last night. Prep and cooking is not a big deal. 4 lb store-bought chicken took 2-1/2 hours to reach well beyond 165 degrees recommended in the recipe. I prefer it cook a bit longer to get to the meat falling off the bone. I served the chicken on a bed of bok choy brown rice, drizzled half the pan drippings on the rice; added the chicken and drizzled the rest of the drippings, and topped with the crispy skin. The leftovers the next day tasted like a chicken flavored raised glaze donut. STG.
soosie January 3, 2021
I made this with a pastured chicken, which I usually roast at 300 in a convection oven. I started this time at 275, then decided to reduce it to 250. The meat was luscious but not as falling-off-the-bone as expected. I think 250 is about right for the pastured/convection combination. BTW, my bird was lovely and golden at the end for presentation (probably the convection), but the skin was amazing post-blast -- deep golden, very crispy, bacony in taste. (I use convection since my oven won't hold temp on bake and repair people tell me it can't be repaired. So I'm holding on to convection as long as I can.)
Christine August 9, 2020
I have made this at least 4 times since finding this. It is such an easy and great recipe, and then supplies many meals afterwards. I roast my chicken upside to encourage the back fat to drip and baste the chicken as it goes.
Daniel B. June 6, 2020
This was my first time eating the skin from an entire chicken, of which I am simultaneously ashamed and proud. It is also the first time I am happy my family are not skin-eaters. Loved it.
tracy R. May 19, 2020
What about cooking the chicken in an Instant Pot and then using this technique for the skin......thoughts?
Fragon May 13, 2020
This is one of the most brilliant genius recipes ever. I’ve made it three times. My husband and I get two or three meals - plus soup - from one chicken. The chicken comes out tasty and juicy, the crispy skin and “sauce” are sinfully good. I serve on a bed of baby spinach (voila! The green veggie!) the first day, then chicken salad or just the same again. I agree, 6 stars.
brushjl May 11, 2020
I think I did it right, but just wasn't a fan. I do like slow roasted vs high temperature roasting, but missed having a beautiful bird to carve. Just wasn't the same.
debplusthree May 10, 2020
May I please give this recipe a 6 out of 5 stars? It came out perfectly, tender, moist meat and it was fun to really get the flavor of rosemary and lemon in the meat too, so often those flavors disappear, not so with this recipe!! Oh, that ridiculous, crispy skin, unbelievable! I have been craving fried chicken lately, but it just isn’t an option right now, and this recipe truly satisfied that craving ~ plus it has no added fat, no breading, just sheer perfection! Thank you again for the wonderful videos, you and your husband are doing a spectacular job and I love laughing when you two are having fun. Once again, well done!
Madinak May 7, 2020
This is a new family favorite! I salted the night before and cooked it breast down with that lump of fat from the back of the chicken inside to self-baste the breast (it worked!). Cooked in a roasting pan with potatoes and broccoli underneath and let rest for 15 minutes. I loved the moistness of the breast and easy meat removal that let us make chicken stock from a clean carcass.
Emily May 5, 2020
This recipe is amazing! I have struggled with whole birds for years because I am a terrible carver. No problem with this recipe! The skin pulled off so easily, and the flavor of the chicken was perfect. I used a regular sheet pan and a 5 lb. bird, and 2.5 hours was the perfect amount of time. Any more would have been too much. Such a great, easy recipe!!
daisy401 May 4, 2020
Love this recipe! I've always done it at 425 for 1 hour, and that does work well, but this was the best roast chicken I've ever made. I was hesitant about just placing it in a roasting pan or baking dish--I usually would use a rack, or even lay down whole carrots, just something to create space between the bird and the pan. Not necessary in this recipe. It didn't burn or stick, and it gave off SO much juice while remaining perfectly moist and done uniformly throughout. I actually didn't do that last part with the skin--it was golden bronze and crisp enough when it came out. I used a tinfoil 9x13 cake pan--worked perfectly. It really does give off a lot of liquid so I wouldn't do it in a shallow baking dish. I poured off all the liquid, reduced it on the stove top w/ some white wine, flour and butter for a lemony jus.
Grace W. May 2, 2020
I made this last week with chicken wings that I had already marinated and planned to pan fry. So cooked it per recipe (just different seasonings) and it was a HIT with two kids under five and adults! And because it was wings we had lots of "chicken chips" as the kids called it. The deboning took time but honestly, serving wings to kids I would've had to spend time deboning for them at the table anyway. Making this again tonight as I type this (since I'm here checking on oven temp requirements). More genius recipes please!
[email protected] April 29, 2020
Hi there - I have a whole chicken CUT into parts. Good bird, good butcher (is that like saying they came from a good family?). Can I cook at that high temp if cut? Worried the separate pieces will dry out at 500 degrees... Advice?
Susan G. April 29, 2020
I wouldn’t think it would make much difference as I believe it’s the whole slow cooking thing that renders the meat moist and tender. It could be difficult reconstructing the bird, so where are you going to put the lemon? Tie a quarter to each piece of chicken???!!!😆 or maybe douse the lot in juice and nestle the pieces close together?
Good luck 👍🏻
[email protected] April 29, 2020
Jamie Oliver does a split chicken that lays on the lemons, so maybe some version of that... keep ya posted. Thank you!
Judy B. April 29, 2020
Whoops! I think you read something wrong. The temperature is 300 degrees. Sloooow roasting. Can’t tell you about cut up parts for sure. I am pretty sure that 500 would just incinerate just about anything!
Judy B. April 29, 2020
Sorry, my reply Siobhan showed up below !
[email protected] April 29, 2020
How right you are! I actually new you started low... but thought the 500 would crush it at the end. 😮 But thank you for clarification. Truthfully I “chickened” out and made the Ina Garten toasted pieces with lemon and onions. 450 degrees for about 40 minutes and then resting 10 minutes. It was fabulous.. I’ll try this next week! Thanks!
Kimberly April 28, 2020
Watched this yesterday and made it today. It was pretty delicious considering this is only the first time ever i made a whole chicken in the oven. Crisping the skin like this is like making crack chicken chicharrones. Husband liked it. My 1yo liked it. Definitely will be making this again. I got a 4-1/4 Lb chicken and cooked for 2-1/2hrs and it may have been a little longer than it should have been but the more I make this the better I will get at it. I tweaked the seasonings by adding a little butter inside with the dried rosemary since I didnt have fresh and I added whole cloves of garlic (it was so good) along with homegrown lemons. Thanks for this and I loved your video and the silly outtakes that made me relate and feel normal with you. <3,
Susan G. April 26, 2020
That is seriously the BEST ever chicken and soooooo easy!
Brilliant, thank you so much. As the girl says, “ I’ll never cook chicken any other way”!!!!
Kristen M. April 27, 2020
Hooray—thanks, Susan!
Christine B. April 26, 2020
Kristen, I have to tell you how much I love your home-filmed videos! The spontenaity really adds to them, especially when you add the appearance of a certain little person! Thanks for this week's chicken recipe. Will definitely be trying it soon. Stay safe. Cheers from Australia.
Christine B. April 26, 2020
Sorry, spontaneity!
Kristen M. April 27, 2020
Thank you, Christine! Glad you're enjoying our at-home antics. Stay safe over there.
Cooking D. April 24, 2020
Nice surprise as I recently roasted a chicken this way and was very nervous about doing it. Then I decided to remove all the skin also. I put it in my cast iron frying pan with no grease. There was enough grease in the skin to fry up crisp and beautiful. It was so tasty on a salad, and on scrambled eggs! Much of it was also eaten out of hand. The roasted chicken was the most tender and juicy I’ve ever made before. Very rewarding to find I have learned how to improvise after a long time of cooking. Recommending this recipe!
Kristen M. April 27, 2020
Wonderful—good for you!
Lisa N. April 23, 2020
Sorry but respectfully, don’t you have enough to do than peel the skin off and cook separately? See Barbuto restaurant recipe for an excellent chicken with super crispy skin!
Lindie April 24, 2020
Respectfully, don’t you have enough to do than write petty comments. It probably took Kristin less time to skin the chicken than for you to type your comment. At least her effort is giving us more enjoyment.
Danielle April 24, 2020
I’ve been sheltering in place for over a month. I LITERALLY have nothing better to do than peel a hot chicken
Dj B. April 24, 2020
Id rather take off the skin than cut the backbone and breastbone out first!!
Kristen M. April 27, 2020
Lisa, thanks for the tip on Barbuto's recipe. I found the skin is surprisingly quick and easy to pull off, and I believe the only way to get this combination of textures.