A roast chicken recipe can have as few as three ingredients—chicken, salt, and pepper—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to prepare a good roast chicken. The biggest challenge is getting the white and dark meat to finish cooking at the same time. The architecture is not built for even cooking–the bird is thicker and thinner in spots, and the cavity just complicates matter. Also, the breast meat dries out at an internal temperature above 160 degrees, while dark meat isn’t even done until it reaches at least 170 degrees. In addition, the skin is often flabby, and plucked off before eating.
This recipe for roasted chicken requires a few steps to obtain both juicy, evenly cooked meat, as well as the ever-elusive crisp chicken skin. We will cut channels down through the back of the chicken to allow fat to escape, as well as poke holes through fat deposits for similar results. To get the skin to color and brown, we will rub the skin with an unusual ingredient—baking powder. Mixed with salt it will help to dehydrate the skin, and combined with an overnight step of air-drying, as well as high-heat roasting, will yield the perfect roast chicken.