Revealed: The crispiest-skinned roast chicken ever

Sep 21, 2011

I think I've found the secret and it's just two words:

Baking powder.  

I had a hard time believing it too, but the results have made me a believer.

Both Nancy Leson and I love a crispy skin on our roast chicken. In fact, it's our favorite part of the bird. So when I came across this recipe taken from Cook's Illustrated, I simply had to try it. After achieving such rapaciously crispacious results I couldn't wait to tell her – and you – all about it.

Besides wearing a skin so crispy it makes the cackler crackle, this roast chicken is also good and juicy. Just be sure to let it rest for about 20 minutes after you pull it from the oven. By the way, if you've ever wondered about the difference between a fryer and roaster, Nancy explains it all for you in her "Chicken - little?" blog post.

To other news:  Remember the Food for Thought Pickle episode in which I bemoaned my lack of success at home pickling New York style half-sours? Well the grail has been found. 

Joy of Pickling author Linda Ziedrich posted a link to a "new pickle" recipe on the Food for Thought comments and I tried it. I now have perfect half-sours that keep their beautiful bright green color and taste exactly right – halfway between a fresh cuke and a pickle. So can you. The recipe is easy. Just get some fresh cukes now while the cuke-gettin' is good.

"I was eating in a Chinese restaurant downtown. There was a dish called Mother and Child Reunion. It's chicken and eggs. And I said, I gotta use that one."

– Paul Simon

Food for Thought” is a weekly KPLU feature covering the world of food as well as the thinking that goes into it. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.