Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

The quest for crispy chicken skin – Update

Save to Recipe Box
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Add Recipe Note

At recipe tastings, one of the most frequent complaints about roast poultry skin is that it’s flabby, not crispy. This came up again yesterday as we tasted a Cornish hen recipe we’re working on: the flavor’s great, but the skin could be better. How to solve this dilemma?

We know from past experience that if you let any kind of poultry sit uncovered in the fridge overnight, the skin dries out a bit and tends to crisp more easily. This works especially well if you salt the bird first. Our recipe already calls for letting the seasoned hens sit in the fridge for at least one hour and up to six, so next time, we’re going to try it overnight instead.

Will this work? Stay tuned for the answer, and if you have any other ideas, let us know!

The results:  The overnight salting treatment worked in more ways than one. The skin did turn out crisper, though the difference wasn’t that dramatic.  What was dramatic was the improved flavor of the hens – the salt had penetrated much better and the flavor of the hens really sang. As for the skin, we did make one other change in addition to the overnight treatment.  On recommendation from the recipe’s author, we switched from brushing the hens with oil to brushing them with butter. Had we left off the fat entirely, the skin may have been even crisper, but the fat helps the skin brown, something that’s needed for these little butterflied hens that don’t need long in the oven to cook.


Leave a Comment


  • unbaked2 | 07/10/2009

    Or you can make life easy and use the Weber Beer Can Chicken set (It has an anodized tray, neck stopper and prongs for the bird.

    I use it in my oven and get the most incredibly crisp skin, even from a defrosted bargain fryer.

    Of course, this precludes many other applications, but it's the fastest and easiest way to crispy skin.

    My hubby literally stands over the stove and pulls the skin off within minutes of cooking. He'd rather have the skin than the meat (which does come out super moist, too).

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.