Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
OliverB

That elusive crisp chicken skin

Recommended Posts

So, I can crisp up a chicken just wonderfully, in the oven or - as will happen today - on the bbq. Comes out wonderful, the skin crisp like chips.

Then I let it rest and most of the crisp is gone! I can't think of a way to avoid the steam and juices under the skin to soften it, but there must be a way to keep it at least somewhat crisp? I read about this somewhere, but as my wall of cookbooks is missing a universal all book index I can't find it...

How do you keep it crisp?

Thanks!

Oliver


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nobody have any tricks?

Hmm. So, I made the chicken on my webber with one of those wire "beer can chicken" contraptions. Turned out great and juicy but part of the skin turned into something very tough. Like those plastiky skins you find on some sausages (aidell's etc) that I can't stand. Very strange. I had salted the chicken two or three hours before and had it rest in the fridge uncovered, took it out about 30 min before cooking.

Some skin stayed nice and crips, some turned to hard plastic, and some very soft as if cooked, even though it all was up in the 500degree heat. I used some new coals that burn extremely hot I guess, I had to leave the lid a bit open even to not have some inferno in there.

This was an organic air chilled chicken from Whole Foods. All great, except some of that though skin.

Oliver


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I roast a chicken, I usually do it using Keller's recipe.

Skin always stays crisp, even while resting. I've never had to brine the meat for what it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you don't mention it, but are you tenting the chicken with aluminum foil? that starts to steam the skin...the only other alternative i can suggest would be to tear the crispy skin off in a savage manner, and consume it as soon as it's gorgeously crisp and burnished looking. that's what i do.


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before roasting, I let the chicken rest in the fridge while uncovered overnight, sometimes up to a day. This really makes a huge difference IMO.

I also do Keller's method, but without brining.

edited to add "Before roasting"


Edited by judec (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes if I'm after a shatteringly crisp skin, I'll rub vegetable oil over the bird, throw some salt on, and then roast at a high-ish temperature (shortening the cooking time accordingly). This always seems to work - but I'm definitely no expert, compared to most people here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to re-crisp roasted chicken skin, may I suggest a blowtorch?

(No, I'm not kidding.)


--

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a variation on Heston Blumenthal's roast chicken (brine, air dry, roast) and the skin is always crispy and stays that way for quite a while. It's a variation because he blanches his before drying and he roasts it at a much lower temperature than I do then sears it off to brown the skin. His goal was the ultimate in moist, my goal is moist but I want that browning and crisp skin that his method doesn't really deliver. I just brine it for a few hours, rinse it in a couple changes of water, lay it out on racks on trays and toss it in the cooler uncovered for at least 8 hours, then roast at 350 f. until it's up to temp. The skin is always puffed away from the meat and very crispy. I then inject chicken butter and serve.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've done a variation on Heston Blumenthal's roast chicken (brine, air dry, roast) and the skin is always crispy and stays that way for quite a while. It's a variation because he blanches his before drying and he roasts it at a much lower temperature than I do then sears it off to brown the skin. His goal was the ultimate in moist, my goal is moist but I want that browning and crisp skin that his method doesn't really deliver. I just brine it for a few hours, rinse it in a couple changes of water, lay it out on racks on trays and toss it in the cooler uncovered for at least 8 hours, then roast at 350 f. until it's up to temp. The skin is always puffed away from the meat and very crispy. I then inject chicken butter and serve.

OK, I'll admit you got me! WTF is "chicken butter"? :wacko:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you want to re-crisp roasted chicken skin, may I suggest a blowtorch?

(No, I'm not kidding.)

Funny. That was my thought too.


Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

interesting idea with the blow torch, that might just work!

Thanks for all the other input too, I'll try some of those things next time - which will be soon :-)

Oliver


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oliver,

I dry brine my chickens, under the skin, and let them air dry in the refrigerator, like the Zuni Cafe technique. The brine allows for faster cooking at very high temperatures.

This can be combined with other methods to allow for faster, higher temp roasting and therefore crisp skin. These include spatchcocking, blowing air under the skin before roasting, rubbing the skin with baking powder/salt and broiling to finish.

Now, I'm got to try that blow torch!

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I'll admit you got me! WTF is "chicken butter"? :wacko:

I cook chicken wing tips until really well browned, toss in a bunch of butter and cook it until the butter browns then sieve out the chicken pieces.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about letting it rest uncovered in a warm oven? No condensation or steaming should occur... Maybe 130f oven ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you don't mention it, but are you tenting the chicken with aluminum foil? that starts to steam the skin...the only other alternative i can suggest would be to tear the crispy skin off in a savage manner, and consume it as soon as it's gorgeously crisp and burnished looking. that's what i do.

hah! that's my method, exactly--you forgot to mention dipping it in salt first!

If anyone's in the kitchenwith me for this, they can share, otherwise it's all mine...

Zoe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I'll admit you got me! WTF is "chicken butter"? :wacko:

I cook chicken wing tips until really well browned, toss in a bunch of butter and cook it until the butter browns then sieve out the chicken pieces.

Dayummmmm! Have you ever roasted potatoes with it? :cool:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I live alone and have no one to fight for the skin, I can eat the crispy parts first. Then, with the leftover refrigerated chicken, I tear off the rest of the skin, place it on a piece of foil, salt and bake in a toaster oven until crunchy. I remove it to paper towels and in a few minutes it's crunchy as can be. I do this with turkey skin, too, which I much prefer. For one thing, there's a lot more!


Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some interesting ideas here, thanks!

I don't tent the chicken and my family would most likely eat me if I'd eat the skin all by myself, LOL!


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cook chicken the Keller method. In the and, after basting it with the juices, I put it underneath a very hot grill, which crisps up the skin. The blowtorch idea that someone mentioned could work! I will try it next time are report back

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some things that help crisp the skin ...

-an air dried bird

-a bird that you pre-salt and hold uncovered in the fridge for 12+ hours

-a hot oven (470 to 500 degrees F)

-a preheated roasting pan

-a low sided roasting pan

-if you do a dual temp roast, hitting the high heat at the end, not the beginning

-skin coated with butter or other fat

-a loose tent or no tent during resting

Some things that hurt ...

-brining

-a wet-packaged bird (almost anything from the supermarket)

-low roasting temperatures

-basting with liquid

-a high sided roasting pan

-a cold roasting pan

-lots of aromatics under the breast skin

-tight tenting during rest

I follow all this advice, with the exception that I often put garlic or herbs under the breast skin, and that if I have a good, air-dried bird i don't bother drying it futher in the fridge.

Skin always stays crisp long enough to get it to the table. It doesn't always stay crisp long enough for seconds. Reheating under a broiler usually breathes life back into it.


Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I roast a chicken, I usually do it using Keller's recipe.

Skin always stays crisp, even while resting.  I've never had to brine the meat for what it's worth.

What is Keller's method, please?


Tom Gengo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone heard of dipping the chicken into boiling water for a min. or some short time? Don't know where I saw it. I think it was for cooking ducks so you can have crisp skin, but seems to make sense as it will eliminate much of the fat in the skin yet not affect the meat due to the short time in the water. Any thoughts?


Tom Gengo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Has anyone heard of dipping the chicken into boiling water for a min. or some short time?  Don't know where I saw it.  I think it was for cooking ducks so you can have crisp skin, but seems to make sense as it will eliminate much of the fat in the skin yet not affect the meat due to the short time in the water.  Any thoughts?

This is the traditional method for making crispy skin chicken. You bring the water plus aromatics to the boil and then place the chicken in it long enough to blanch.

The chicken is then dried for at least an hour (traditionally on a rack near a window or hanging, but I'm sure a rack in the fridge would be more than adequate).

The chicken is then deep fried.

I suppose the question is would this work as effectively with roasting. My assumption would be that yes it would as the blanching allows for removal of fats as well as providing a medium for the heat to crisp the skin.

For interest's sake, you can use a very similar procedure to make excellent crackling on roast pork without resorting to large amounts of salt. This is done by pouring boiling water over the skin before putting it in a high heat oven.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've done a variation on Heston Blumenthal's roast chicken (brine, air dry, roast) and the skin is always crispy and stays that way for quite a while. It's a variation because he blanches his before drying and he roasts it at a much lower temperature than I do then sears it off to brown the skin. His goal was the ultimate in moist, my goal is moist but I want that browning and crisp skin that his method doesn't really deliver. I just brine it for a few hours, rinse it in a couple changes of water, lay it out on racks on trays and toss it in the cooler uncovered for at least 8 hours, then roast at 350 f. until it's up to temp. The skin is always puffed away from the meat and very crispy. I then inject chicken butter and serve.

I am making roast chicken next weekend, for someone very special. I haven't tried the Blumenthal method, but I figure now may be time to take the plunge. But I also want the crispy skin. Your method sounds promising, Tri2Cook.

I'm thinking about doing a practice run. Do you think it's necessary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I dry brine my chickens, under the skin, and let them air dry in the refrigerator, like the Zuni Cafe technique

I dry brine mine as well and let the chicken sit a day or two in the fridge. Really produces a very crisp skin. Tenting while resting will help to undo what you have tried to achieve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...