Better Chicken Through Science

By ChefSteps Team Posted November 04, 2014

A roast chicken with crispy, golden skin is a glorious thing. But cooks face a dilemma: how to crisp the skin perfectly without overcooking the flesh beneath it?

We've partnered with the mad food scientists at ChefSteps to bring their hyper-inventive cooking videos to F&W readers. Here, the team that worked with Nathan Myrhvold to create the magnum opus Modernist Cuisine shares an incredible food experiment.

A roast chicken with crispy, golden skin is a glorious thing. But cooks face a dilemma: how to crisp the skin perfectly without overcooking the flesh beneath it? The answer is that you need to divide and conquer by separating the tasks of cooking the meat from crisping the skin. This recipe uses some easy prep steps and a two-step cooking process to first cook the flesh to our preferred degree of doneness—144 °F / 62 °C —and then to quickly finish the chicken with a very high temperature roasting step that yields remarkably crispy skin.

Taking a two-step approach to roasting a chicken, or even a turkey, is well worth it in our opinion. You can go from good to great by planning ahead and taking a few extra prep steps that include a unique method of trussing, lightly brining the flesh, and pre-drying the skin. This is what we do to achieve our perfect roast chicken.

Equipment: Butcher's twine, brine injector, thermocouple thermometer (optional), thermocouple probes (optional), meat hooks

Get the Full Recipe at ChefSteps.com

Related: Terrific Roast Chicken Recipes
Quick Chicken Recipes
Chef Chicken Recipes Made Easy

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