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The Crispiest Chicken Skin Ever

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August 31, 2014 / Pub Food / By
Nicola

I'm sure you'll agree that a roast chicken isn't a roast chicken unless it has a beautiful crispy skin covering the top. However, it's a delicate balancing act when you're trying to get it right. There's a risk that if you crisp it up too much the flesh of the chicken will dry out too, but at the same time all the juices and oils can leave it a little soggy. It's actually really easy to get it right, as you're about to find out!

I usually buy individual chicken thighs as it works out cheaper and more economical for my family, but this tecnhique works just as well with a whole chicken. As long as the chicken has defrosted properly (if necessary), there's no need to do any other special preparations such as washing it or drying it out.

To begin with, you'll need some butter or margerine. I find that margerine is easier to work with and gives better results, as well as being slightly healthier! However, butter will do the trick if that's all you have. Rub some of this margerine (or butter) all over the chicken skin, into all the creases, crevices - everywhere! Make sure it's very well covered, but don't lay it on too thickly.

Next comes salt. Salts with larger grains work best, but your average table salt will give you pretty much the same end result. Press and rub this salt into the skin, over the layer of margerine. Again, try to cover the entire surface, but be careful because you don't want the finished meal to be too salty.

It's as simple as that! You don't need any other ingredients or fancy methods to make the perfect crispy chicken skin.

Place the chicken in an oven which has been preheated to 220°C (425°F or Gas Mark 7). After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F or Gas Mark 5), and leave it to cook for another 45 minutes. You can pretty much just leave it alone; there's no need to take it out, fuss with it or baste it during the cooking process. You'll find that as it crisps up, the skin will start to come away from the chicken slightly - this keeps the skin dry, whilst acting as a barrier to keep the juices in the flesh.

After leaving the chicken to cook for an hour in total, remove it from the oven. Leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before carving or serving; this will seal in the juices. This is a foolproof recipe! You should be able to lightly pat the skin and hear a tap as it has become hard and crispy.

When you tuck in, you will be amazed at how moist, juicy and flavoursome the flesh of the chicken is, as well as how incredibly crispy the skin is. It really is possible to have the best of both worlds, so now you have no excuses!

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