This Trick Gives You The Crispiest Chicken Skin

It's the age-old question: Should you leave the skin on the chicken? While Mashed has explored this question, and whether chicken skin is even healthy for you, the verdict seems to be that you don't need to completely strip chicken before you cook it and can enjoy that textured goodness without guilt. So now, the next step is to make sure that the skin is nice and crispy. If you haven't perfected a method to do so yet, this technique might do the trick.

According to Tasting Table, before you fry or bake chicken, you should steam it first. The article references a buffalo wing recipe from Alton Brown's official website, where he explains that when you steam chicken, the fat is rendered out — and, as such, when the meat cooks the second time, the skin gets tight and crispy. It's recommended to steam wings for about 10 minutes without overcrowding them, then dry off the chicken, and wait 30 minutes before frying or baking.

Other methods to achieve crisp chicken skin

If you don't have time to steam, there are other cooking methods for achieving crispy and delicious chicken skin. You can try using a secret ingredient that will really make chicken skin crunch, and the best part is that it's a common item you likely already have in your kitchen — hint: it's baking powder.

Good Housekeeping also has a step-by-step guide for getting the perfect crisp, including a pan-fry and oven-bake combo that gives it a one-two punch. In general, most chefs would agree though that the most important part is to ensure the chicken is completely dry before cooking it so all the moisture is released and doesn't interfere with the crisping process. To do so, it's recommended to pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper and then let air dry for an additional few minutes.

And if you're roasting or grilling, there's also ways to achieve the crispy skin. Here's how to roast a whole chicken while maintaining that satisfying crunch and texture. Alex Guarnaschelli also has her own method of keeping chicken crispy while it's on the grill and it includes separating the skin and cooking it separately. 

With all these techniques, you're well on your way to a great dinner, no matter how you prep it.