I don’t eat meat very often, but I still strive to be able to cook everything to perfection and chicken is something I can do right every time. Are you ready for my secret to amazingly moist chicken with crispy skin? It is kind of mind-blowing. The secret to moist chicken is dry chicken.
Yes, making sure your bird is throughly dry is going to make for the best chicken. I dare you to try this recipe. It will be one you keep in the books forever and make for simple dinners and even dinners to impress. (Last minute Valentine’s Day idea right here.) It is really simple, so don’t try to cut any corners.
- whole chicken (4-6 lbs)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- pepper (to taste)
- herbs (optional)
- butcher’s twine
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Let your chicken temper, meaning let it come close to room temperature, before you truly begin.
First you are going to want to wash your chicken thoroughly. Remove all innards or imperfections and give it a gentle scrub. After draining, I like to move my chicken on to a couple of paper towels. This helps the drying process in that you are not constantly re-wetting your surface. With additional paper towels I meticulously dry the inside and outside of the chicken.
Salt and pepper the cavity of the bird. If you are adding herbs (only dry herbs or citrus rinds) you should add them into the cavity. Once that is done I truss the chicken. (Check out this video if you don’t know how to truss. Everyone has a style, but this one is pretty easy to follow) Then I pat it dry one last time.
Starting with the back of the chicken, liberally dust the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place the bird breast up in a large stainless steel (oven safe!) sauté pan and dust salt and pepper again. The chicken is going to start sweating the second the salt touches the skin, so get it immediately into the oven.
Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes per pound or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. I like to make a foil tent to help prevent the chicken from browning too much. To do that, just take a piece of foil and crunch it into a dome shape. Place it over the top of the chicken, do not seal it in or cover it completely. I remove the foil 30 minutes before my the chicken is done to get that great golden color.
I always use a thermometer to test the chicken because I would never want to poison anyone. Once the thermometer reads 165°F, remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. I like to sprinkle some dry herbs over the chicken while it is resting.
That is really it. You don’t need to baste or add butter, in fact, you shouldn’t. Don’t add anything to this recipe that is going to add moisture or create steam. Just keep it simple. This recipe has never not worked for me so I really urge you to give it a try!