20/01/2022

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Roast Chicken and Vegetables on a wooden table

For the Crispiest Chicken Skin, Grab the Baking Powder

chicken

Over the years, our recipe development team has spent a lot of time tackling the best ways to cook poultry. Want the fastest and most evenly cooked whole bird? Spatchcock that baby. Looking for the juiciest, most tender boneless, skinless grilled breasts? We’ve got a technique for that, too. Not sure whether brining your turkey is worth the fuss? Here’s everything you need to know. What’s that? You want to get into the sous vide chicken game? Look no further than our complete guide.

Baking powder, it turns out, is good for quite a lot more than baking. The slightly alkaline mixture raises the skin’s pH levels, which allows proteins to break down more efficiently, giving you crisper, more evenly browned results. Simultaneously, it combines with the bird’s natural juices, forming carbon dioxide gas that leaves you with a layer of tiny bubbles. It’s these bubbles that increase the skin’s surface area, allowing it to develop a crunchy texture once cooked.

To reap those benefits, simply combine one part baking powder with three to four parts kosher salt (about a teaspoon of baking powder per tablespoon of kosher salt will work), add some black pepper to taste, then sprinkle it evenly over the surface of the skin. Then—and this is key—let it rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. This resting period doesn’t just give the baking powder time to form all those little bubbles; it also lets the salt do its thing, dry-brining the meat for more intensely flavored, better-seasoned results. It’s a whole lot of bang for very little buck, and all it really requires is a bit of advance planning and some space in the fridge. Put the method to work on our classic roast chicken, your Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas goose, these baked Buffalo chicken wings (that really taste fried), or pretty much any skin-on poultry preparation you please. Oh yeah, and while we’re at it, it’ll totally work on pork skin, too. You’re welcome.