This Crispy Roast Chicken recipe will become an instant family favorite. It does require a little advance notice, but aside from that, it's hands-off. You're going to end up with juicy meat all around, and crispiest, crackliest skin ever.
For the longest time, I would never order chicken at restaurants; It felt boring. Then I tried the roasted chicken at the NoMad, and well, that changed things.
I went on a spree. I ordered roasted chicken at every restaurant that had it on the menu for a good long while... I became obsessed. Why did it taste so much better out? Was it just because of the age old "restaurants drown everything in butter" ideology?
Was it because chefs buy chickens that are better quality than us home cooks? Nope.
Can you guess what the secret is?
Time and planning. Knowing that you'll be roasting a chicken just a few hours in advance can make a world of difference.
In a world free of obligations, of full-time careers, of children to care for, you might do as Daniel Boulud does. Wet brine the chicken, truss it, and then dry it out in the fridge, using the better portion of two days.
However, that takes the whole thing two steps too far for me. I say to heck with it all. Simply dry brining the bird is more than enough.
A dry brine means that you cover the bird with salt (and maybe spices), then let it rest (naked, uncovered) in the fridge, and finally you roast it.
Crispy Roast Chicken Ingredients
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Chicken: 1 whole chicken with skin-on please. I recently started buying my meat in bulk from Thrive Market and I love it! Don't forget to remove the gibblet bag from the inside of the bird!
- Salt: Ideally, you should always use coarse kosher salt when brining. If you don't have any, whatever salt you have on hand will do.
- Olive oil or butter: I have had success with both. My favorite way to coat chicken is in 2 tablespoons of butter. If you are dairy-free, kosher, or simply prefer to use oil, I recommend a high quality extra-virgin olive oil.
- Herbs: You'll have success whether you use fresh herbs or dried herbs for this recipe. My favorite herbs to pair with crispy roast chicken are sage, rosemary, and/or thyme. Use any that you like and have on hand.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY ROAST CHICKEN
Here is a glance into how I make this simple and delicious family favorite. More details can be found in the recipe card below!
- Salt the chicken. Pat your chicken completely dry, and then cover it in coarse kosher salt.
- Let your chicken dry brine: The best way to place the chicken is on a baking sheet lined with the cooling rack. This way, any liquid that accumulates won't make the chicken soggy.
- Wait: Anywhere from 8-48 hours. I usually go with 24, and it works really well!
- Dry and dress the chicken: Once the chicken is done dry-brining, use paper towels to pat it completely dry. You don't need to wash the salt off, but rub off any excess areas. Then coat the chicken in fat (butter or oil), black pepper, and fresh herbs.
- Roast: We roast the chicken at 475ºF for 30 minutes breast-side-down, then flip for another 25-30 minutes.
- Rest: It's critical that you let the chicken relax for 10-15 minutes before carving into it.
What to Serve with Crispy Roast Chicken
Keep it simple. I like the serve this crispy roast chicken with some form of potato (mashed, smashed, they're all the perfect sidekick!) and assertively dressed greens. Ideally, a loaf of fresh bread for soaking up those pan juices will be readily available. Honestly, this chicken is so juicy and flavorful that it really doesn't need much, but here are some sides I happily recommend:
- crispy roasted potatoes or smashed potatoes
- simple salad greens or kale caesar
- sautéed spinach
- fresh baguette
This simple recipe for crispy roast chicken relies on dry-brining and high heat! Inside you'll have tender, juicy meat and on the outside you'll find the crispiest, crackliest skin.
1 small chicken, ~3 lbs
3-4 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp fresh ground pepper black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil or butter
2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, sage and/or thyme
- Salt your chicken liberally on both sides, paying more attention to the thicker portions like the breast, which require more salt than the legs or wings.
- Place it uncovered in the fridge on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.
- Allow the chicken to rest in the refrigerator for 8-48 hours.
- When done. preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Pat the chicken dry very well with paper towels. Absorb any excess moisture.
- Tuck the wings back. Truss the legs together with kitchen twine. Rub the body with black pepper, herbs or spices, and 1 tbsp of butter or oil.
- Add remaining 1 tbs of butter or oil to the pan and preheat in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Place the chicken, breast side down, into the hot pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Don't open the door! Opening the oven door causes heat to escape and will result in a soggier bird.
- After 30 minutes turn the chicken over. Cook for another 22-30 minutes.
- The chicken should be a golden brown color and the juices should run clear if you prick it with a fork or knife. The total cooking time is ~53 minutes for a 3-lb. chicken. If your chicken is bigger or smaller, adjust the cooking time by about 8 minutes in either direction.
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving into it.
*P.S: If you are using a kosher chicken, it is already brined in salt water, so do not heavily salt it before dry brining. Just add 1 tbsp of salt to the chicken, rub it around, and proceed to the dry brine in the fridge.
Cook your chicken in a pan that's not much bigger than the chicken itself. I like this one from Le Creuset.
- Category: Meat & Chicken
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chicken, roast chicken, how-to roast a chicken, crispy chicken skin, crispy roast chicken, perfect roast chicken