MickinMD Posted February 17, 2020 Share #1 Posted February 17, 2020 The health benefits of eating chicken skin is controversial. One recent article says, "In addition to making cooked chicken juicier and more flavourful, the majority of fat in chicken skin is unsaturated, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Consumption of unsaturated fat is believed to be associated with lowered bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels. However, there is no mistaking that chicken skin is fattening, so, whether or not you are watching your weight, you should not eat too much of it." So I'm sticking with skin on my chicken until they pry it from my cold, dead hands, just as some do with egg yolks, caffeine, Vladimir Putin, Velveeta, and a litany of once-awful things that are allegedly good now according to some. But there's been Trouble, right here in Chicken City, and that starts with "T" and that rhymes with "C" and that stands for "Crispy." Mine hasn't been crispy! In the few years since I began baking instead of frying chicken pieces (mainly thighs and leg quarters), the skin has been soft rather than crispy. Last week I figured out why: I was baking at the "recommended" 350° and trying to not go much higher than the 165° minimum internal meat temperature. Those temperatures may work for crispy skin only if you don't drizzle oil or butter on the pieces. So here's my new procedure, with which I'll experiment a little until it comes out crispy and moist: 1. Preheat oven to 400°. 2. Pat the chicken pieces (bone-in thighs with skins) dry with paper towels, whether or not I rinse them in the sink first (not recommended by the U.S. FDA due to cross-contamination threat). 3. Place the pieces, skin side up if it applies, in either an oven pan with a raised rack or simply in a pan lined with aluminum foil for easy cleaning. Drizzle a little olive oil on each piece and rub it in. 4. Bake the thighs/leg quarters for 45 min. or until skin is crispy. They'll probably reach an internal temp. of 165° around 25 min. but don't worry about overheating: the skin and bone and dark meat will keep the thighs moist. 5. Seasonings should be applied in the last 10 min. or after baking to avoid burning. If this doesn't do it, playing with temperatures - 425° the whole way or the last half - is the next experiment. The key points in my research: Recently I got some pre-rubbed leg quarters (I baked at 350°) and some marinated-in-a-bag chicken (I baked at 425° as per instructions) and I couldn't drizzle oil on them. They came out nice and crispy-skinned. That made me think the oil was keeping them soft. So I searched online for crispy chicken recipes and found many that did nothing but pat the chicken dry before baking. Those that did drizzle oil or butter, particularly for thighs, almost all baked at 400° to 425° and said something like this: Pat them dry with paper towels before seasoning. The natural moisture from the chicken can prevent getting a really good sear. These thighs basically sear right in the oven, so this is an important but quick step to take. Drizzle about a teaspoon of oil over the skin on each piece of chicken and rub lightly to coat. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper. You’ll want to bake these at 400 degrees [some say 425°] for 35-45 minutes [some say up to 1 hour] without moving or turning them during the process. This temperature and time ensure that crispy outside and juicy inside we’re looking for. Another recipe says: Bake the chicken for 50 minutes to an hour. Don’t worry, you won’t over cook it. I think it’s even better if you go for the full hour because the meat starts to fall off the bone a little bit! Succulent!But for this recipe, decided to go with a crispy-roasting method I learned about awhile back from Cooks Illustrated. Look out — it calls for heating up that oven to 450 and 500 degrees. Even for a whole chicken, I've read a recipe for crispy chicken that says: For this recipe, I decided to go with a crispy-roasting method I learned about awhile back from Cooks Illustrated. Look out — it calls for heating up that oven to 450° [preheat] and 500 degrees [when internal temp = 135°]. Personally, I LOVE the advice from Cooks Illustrated aka America's Test Kitchen on PBS. For chicken pieces, I've also seen recommendations of 350° to start and raise it to 400 or 425° halfway through. Thighs I cook at 350° reach an internal temperature 165° or higher within 35 minutes, but thighs and leg quarters are forgiving: you can approach 200° and they're still moist (skin on with bones). 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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