From America's Test Kitchen Season 10: Sensational Skillet Recipes
We started with a standard set of mixed chicken parts: four breast halves, two drumsticks, and two thighs. We tested a variety of approaches to achieve moist meat and crisp skin, but ran into numerous problems. One method—steaming the raw chicken in broth and then searing it in a hot pan, skin side down—crisped the skin but caused it to shrink dramatically. To avoid this, we found that searing the chicken first and then steaming was the answer. After steaming, we poured off all the liquid from the pan (reserving it to use for the pan sauce) and returned the chicken to sear again skin side down. This second searing produced the deep, russet-hued crisp skin we had hoped for. After removing the finished chicken, we set out to make our pan sauce with shallot, lemon, and fresh herbs. This quick pan sauce was the perfect complement to our tender roast chicken with crisp skin.
A whole 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces, can be used instead of the chicken parts. Use a splatter screen when browning the chicken.