Just one simple pantry ingredient is all you need to create seriously delicious crispy skin oven baked chicken!
So before there were Air Fryers folks were struggling with getting crispy skinned oven baked chicken. Oh sure you could deep fry it or skillet fry it but the whole purpose was to reduce the amount of added fat and calories. And yes I know some folks say chicken skin is bad – I get it but seriously, there are those moments when we all need that extra added crunchification factor to our juicy chicken! I mean KFC has been around all these years for a reason – their crunchy chicken is a huge factor. If you’re like me you’ve tried a million different ways – baking it with oil or broiling it but you never quite get that same ‘fried’ crunch.
Until now… *wink*
So what’s the magic tip? Honestly it’s simple baking powder. Yes – like as in the stuff you add to cakes and cookies. The rule of thumb is for every pound of chicken (add almost a teaspoon of baking powder – you don’t need a full teaspoon). Dry the chicken, add it a large plastic bag, add in the baking powder. Shake it all around and then add the chicken to a rimmed baking sheet in the fridge to chill out for at least 8 hours. When you’re ready to use, just preheat the oven and then bake til the chicken is done. You’ll get a juicy piece of chicken with a crispy skin! Now for larger pieces, you might have to cover the chicken part-way just so it doesn’t burn.
Why does this work? I’m glad you asked. Baking powder helps draw the moisture into the skin which, when it bakes, it evaporates leaving a crispy skin. The acid helps break down proteins within the skin, and the alkali accelerates the browning process, meaning that the skin can crisp more quickly. Make sense?
Here’s a break down:
1lb of chicken (say wings for example)
1 teaspoon of baking powder (you can also add your dry seasonings too!)
- Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and set rack inside.
- Pat the chicken dry.
- Place the chicken, baking powder and any dry seasonings in a bag. Shake to coat well.
- Place the chicken pieces on the rack leaving a little bit of space to allow air flow.
- Put the entire rack with chicken in the fridge for at least 8 hours, uncovered.
- When ready to bake preheat the oven – wings are 450F on the upper-middle rack. Larger pieces are 400F, middle rack.
- Bake the wings for 20 minutes, flip and then bake another 15-20 or until temp is 165 and skin is crispy. For large pieces bake for 20 minutes, flip and bake another 20-30 checking the temperature. If the pieces are huge you may need to tent with foil as it bakes just to prevent the skin from burning.