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This Weird Trick Makes The Best Roasted Chicken Ever

Perfect Roast Chicken

I’ve made cooked quite a few whole chickens at home over the years. I made most of them using my rotisserie-style chicken method, so I didn’t really focus too much on the skin. I usually end up pulling it off and throwing it away! It occurred to me that I’ve never really made good crispy chicken at home. But when I came across this odd recipe on NewYorker.com, I took it as a sign that it was time to give crispy-skinned chicken a try!

The strangest part about this recipe is that it involves blow-drying your chicken. Yes, you will have to get out your hair dryer and point it at your chicken. (And yes, you will probably feel a little bit crazy while you’re doing it!) But this step is important because it helps get the chicken skin really dry. And drying out the skin is key if you want it to turn out really crispy and delicious!

While my skepticism about this method continued throughout the cooking process, it evaporated once I gave it a taste. All I can say is WOW! This chicken is everything a really good roasted chicken should be: crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and full of flavor. I couldn’t stop eating it! I highly recommend giving it a try for yourself. I think you’ll be just as pleased as I was (even if you have to endure a few odd looks for using your hair dryer in the kitchen.) ;-)

Related: How To Make Flawless & Juicy Chicken Breasts Every Time

Perfect Roast Chicken

Perfect Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken (3-5 lbs.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups roughly chopped vegetables
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt-free seasoning mix of your choice

Sauce Ingredients (Optional, see Step 6):

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp flour

Directions:

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 1 – Salt The Bird

The first step is to prep the chicken, and you’ll need to do this a day or two before you plan on cooking it. But the good news is that this part is super easy! First, grab a few paper towels and pat the bird dry inside and out. (If your chicken comes with giblets, discard them or freeze them to use later on.)

Perfect Roast Chicken

Once the bird is dry, season it generously inside and out with kosher salt (using about 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt per pound.) Set the salted chicken on a wire rack over a large plate or platter, then place the whole thing in your fridge. Let the chicken sit uncovered for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours. After the waiting period, the skin will look translucent and will be firm to the touch.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 2 – Blow-dry It

A couple of hours before dinnertime, remove the chicken from your fridge. Grab your trusty hair dryer and use the Cool setting to blow air all over the chicken. This will help dry out any remaining damp areas (which is key if you’re going to get it really crispy!) Make sure to get the underside of the bird and inside the cavity too.

Related: 23 Unexpected Things You Can Do With Your Hair Dryer

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 3 – Prep For Cooking

Put your chopped veggies in a big mixing bowl and add the vegetable oil. Use your hands to toss the veggies until everything is evenly coated.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Next, use your oily hands or a pastry brush to rub down the outside of the chicken with the remaining oil. Add a bit more if needed to make sure the chicken is completely coated.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Then sprinkle your seasoning mix of choice all over the chicken in an even layer. (Remember, the chicken is already quite salty so using a salt-free seasoning mix is key! I used Lawry’s Salt-Free seasoning mix, and it tasted amazing on this chicken!)

Perfect Roast Chicken

Finally, arrange your veggies in a 12″ cast-iron skillet or a 3-qt baking dish. Place your seasoned chicken on top of the veggies, breast-side up.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 4 – Cook

Place the skillet or dish in the center of your cold oven. Turn the oven on to preheat to 350°F. Once the oven comes to temperature, set a timer for 10 minutes. Then increase the oven temperature to 375°F and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Continue to increase the oven temperature in 25 increments every 10 minutes, until you reach 450°F.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Once at 450°F, let the chicken continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the breast reads 155°F. (It should take an additional 20-25 minutes or so, bringing the total cooking time to about 80 minutes total.) The chicken will be browned, crisp, and the veggies will be nearly charred.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 5 – Rest & Serve!

Using a pair of tongs, transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes, or up to an hour. This will keep the juices inside from running all over the place when you cut into to.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Carve the chicken and serve. Yum!

Perfect Roast Chicken

Step 6 (Optional) – Make A Sauce

The chicken is delicious as-is, but if you want to kick things up a notch, why not serve it with a tasty sauce? Start by pouring the drippings into a pan or skillet over medium heat. Pour in the chicken stock and the juice from the lemon half. Continue stirring and cooking until the sauce starts bubbling. While the sauce is heating up, melt the butter and stir the flour in to make a roux. When the sauce starts bubbling, add the roux and stir well until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Adjust seasoning as needed, and serve along side your chicken and roasted vegetables.

Perfect Roast Chicken

Doesn’t that look good?? I like to think this photo almost speaks for itself, but you’ll have to give this chicken dish a try to find out! ;-)

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Food & Recipes

  • The technique looks great, but i’m wondering about the briny drippings being too salty. I’m also wondering about the veggies: if you left the peels on the potatoes and carrots, would those char, then you eat around it to the roasty parts? Because I bet the veggies add a lot of flavor to the drippings. (slurp.) Lastly – on those few occasions when I make a roux, I start with the fat & flour, brown it, then add the cooking liquid. Is this more like adding cornstarch to thicken the sauce?

    • The roux method or cornstarch thickening method will both work wonderfully here. I don’t mind the roasty bits of veggies, but you could definitely cut them off or eat around them. :-)

  • I made this tonight and the chicken was deliciously roasted with an amazingly crisp skin. But the vegetables were filled with the juices/fat that ran out of the chicken. The edges of them were browned, but I couldn’t eat them because of all of the chicken juices.

    • I’m glad you liked the chicken! Sorry about the veggies! You could always omit the veggies from this recipe and cook them separately, next time. :-)

  • Good thing I hung onto my hair dryer. This is strange but I can see why it will work. Cannot wait to do it. Chicken is about all I eat of meat anymore. I just can’t do it.

  • OMG, yes, this sounds weird, but after seeing this recipe, which looks amazing, I knew I got to give this a try. will e making tomorrow. Yummy!

  • are the vegetables crucial in this recipe? I am a low carb eater so am liking the meat recipes but need to watch my vegetable intake.

  • Hi Jillee, I was happy to see your recipe on roasting chicken, however, have you thought of the bacteria blowing around when you blow dry your chicken? There’s a possibility this could be a no no.
    Keep up the excellent ideas that you send our way.
    Claire

    • A good question. Although I wouldn’t think that a thoroughly dried chicken that has been well-salted and sat in frig for 2 days would have any kind of bacteria problem.

  • I tried to print this with the “Print Friendly” option, and it gave me 30 pages to print. Not very print friendly. Can you adjust it for the recipe only? Thnx.

    • Once you get the print friendly if you hoover over a section it lets you delete it. You can go through deleting pictures…..anything you don’t want/need on your copy. This lets people have as much or as little as they like. Hope it helps.

    • I do! It’s a green button towards the bottom of the post (before the comments). After clicking on that button, you can choose to remove the images, make them smaller, remove any text you don’t need… :-)

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