This Secret Ingredient Makes Miraculously Crispy Chicken

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Crispy chicken > non-crispy chicken. Age-old wisdom. We have a lot of tricks to get there, like dredging chicken tenders in flour and breadcrumbs. But it turns out that the best hack has been hiding in our pantry all along: baking powder. Whether you’re cooking a whole Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken, a plate of Roasted Buffalo Chicken Wings or just one thigh, this technique makes for the crispiest, crackliest skin imaginable.

What you need: Skin-on chicken, baking powder, kosher salt, black pepper and a baking sheet.

What you do: Combine one part baking powder with three parts kosher salt. Add a dash of black pepper and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the skin. Transfer the chicken to the baking sheet and let it rest uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. Then roast as you normally would.

Why it works: OK, quick science lesson. Baking powder is alkaline. It raises the skin’s pH, breaking down the proteins more efficiently and making for browner, crispier results. Simultaneously, the baking powder combines with the bird’s natural juices, creating carbon dioxide. So as the bird chills out in the fridge, a tiny layer of bubbles forms all over its skin. The skin’s surface area increases, so it develops an extra-crunchy texture when it’s roasted. Taking notes?

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Heath Goldman

Food Editor

From 2017 to 2019 Heath Goldman held the role of Food Editor covering food, booze and some recipe development, too. Tough job, eh?
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