From America's Test Kitchen Season 10: Chicken Classics, Reinvented
During roasting, juices and rendered fat can accumulate beneath the chicken skin and turn it wet and flabby. We wanted a juicy roasted chicken with skin that would crackle against your teeth with every bite.
A five-step process was the solution. We first cut an incision down the chicken’s back to allow fat to escape and then loosened the skin from the thighs and breasts, poking holes in the fat deposits to allow multiple channels for excess fat and juices to escape. And since skin can’t brown until all the surface moisture evaporates, we added baking powder to our salt rub. This helped dehydrate the skin and enhanced the effects of our fourth step: overnight air-drying. Finally, we roasted the bird at high heat to speed the browning. To prevent our kitchen from filling with smoke from the pan drippings, we placed a sheet of foil with holes punched into it under the chicken to shield the rendered fat from direct oven heat. The final result? Roast chicken with tender, juicy meat and the crispest skin ever.
Serves 2 to 3
For best flavor, use a high-quality chicken, such as one from Bell & Evans. Do not brine the bird; it will prohibit the skin from becoming crisp. The sheet of foil between the roasting pan and V-rack will keep drippings from burning and smoking.