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Thread: What is the secret to getting good, crispy chicken skins?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    What is the secret to getting good, crispy chicken skins?

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    What is the trick to getting good, crispy chicken skins on roasted chickens? I've tried smearing them with butter, salt and pepper, and while they taste good they never really get brown and crispy. Do you need to cook at a higher temp? For how long? At the beginning or the end of the cooking time? Thanks for any tips!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Eagle River, Alaska
    I roast my chicken uncovered in the oven at 350 for an hour to an hour and a half depending on chicken size. I baste it occasionally with it's own drippings. It always turns a nice golden brown.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    south lake tahoe, california
    If you're talking whole chicken--Preheat the oven to 450, pop the chicken in with your salt and pepper and spices, let it cook at that high heat for about 20 minutes, then turn down to 350 until it's done. i sometimes have to turn it back up at the end, depending on the wateriness of that particular bird. But i find that the high hot heat at the beginning sears in the juices and ultimately crisps up the skin.
    Me? I don't like chicken (!) but everyone loves the ones i make!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Northern California
    I've found that the chicken skin needs to be very dry before cooking it. I like to get the chicken ready the day before: rinse it and generously sprinkle salt (kosher or sea salt) over the entire bird and put it on a rack in the fridge overnight. The salt will migrate to the interior making the meat more moist in the same way that a wet brine works. Then cook it the same way that drjoyous described. Have it with chilled Sauvingnon Blanc and enjoy licking your fingers, that's what I do.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    I find THE best way is to gently and carefully raise the skin from the flesh, working fingers under the skin from the cavity end until you have separated the skin from the flesh up to (and if possible, including) the top of the legs. The get some soft butter and smear this between the skin and flesh until there is a thin layer of butter. Then sprinkle sea salt (I use Maldon) over the skin. Place in a roasting tin on a bed of chopped onions and some bay leaves and roast at 180 C for about 1 hour 20 minutes, basting occasionally. By now the chicken should be well cooked, the onions caramelized and the skin crisp and delicious. If the juices from the thigh etc when pierced are clear, and the legs pull away from the body, eat! If not - give it another 15 or so minutes....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Many moons ago I did the Atkins routine, and in one of his cookbooks he recommended coating the skin of the chicken in mayonaise, then baking. I see to remember that the skin was very crispy when the cooking was done...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    New Hampshire
    I do what breadsauce does and separate the skin from the bird and smear that space with butter, herbs and some cloves of garlic. Seasoning the outside of the bird with salt and pepper when the skin is dry is also important.

    Also, I always put my chicken on a rack over a roasting pan - it's easier to get a crisp skin when the chicken isn't sitting directly on top of its own juices. In the roasting pan, I put cut up potatoes and onions - the fat from the chicken drips onto the potatoes and onions while they roast and are delicious.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    MA, USA
    I make sure the chicken is very dry and then salt the hell out of it. Pop it in the oven, uncovered, at 350F for over an hour (usually working with 4-5 lb birds) and it's AMAZING.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I roast whole chickens in my slow cooker pretty often. I have found that the crispy skin comes from buying lean chickens. Fatty chickens seem to have thicker skin than the organic fryers I've been picking up. I only rub with a little coconut oil and season it. Add water about half way up the chicken. After 6-8 hours the skin is beautifully browned.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    New York, NY
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    I've never really had a problem with getting skin crispy.

    I often use a vertical roaster - I think the skin crisps so well because all the schmaltz drips down to the bottom of the pan... you can use an empty can (beer, soda, etc... probably a coconut milk can would work too if you can fit the chicken over it) if you don't want to buy a silly one-purpose item.

    I've roasted pieces a fair amount recently too - and I like putting garlic and other spices under the skin and rubbed all over the outside... nice crispy skin on that too (and I totally played the time/temp by ear, otherwise I'd tell you what I did).

    If the skin's not crispy enough, and/or you're reheating chicken where the skin is soggy, you can always just pop it in a skillet (probably separate from the meat) for a minute to crisp up.

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