easy/peasy essentials: super juicy half chicken

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

This recipe is not about taters, veggies, or whatever else you choose to put together. This is just about how to make a tender juicy chicken with crispy flavorful skin. I love working with half chickens. It is a great meal for two, and with a wing, thigh, breast, and leg, it is always easy to please everyone at the table. This recipe makes a great juicy chicken with a crispy skin using a two-heat baking method, but more on that later So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves 2 with leftovers
prep time 10 Min
cook time 1 Hr 15 Min
method Bake

Ingredients For easy/peasy essentials: super juicy half chicken

  • PLAN/PURCHASE
  • 1/2 lg
    chicken
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil, extra-virgin
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp
    paprika, mild, or hot, your choice

How To Make easy/peasy essentials: super juicy half chicken

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    My favorite pan for making this type of recipe is cast iron; however, any good heavy-bottom, ovenproof pan will do just fine. Note: You will not require a lid
  • 3
    This recipe is designed around using a half chicken; however, you could use any parts you choose. If you choose a half chicken, it should feed 2 people, and leave you enough for a sandwich or to top a salad.
  • 4
    Two Heat Method I have posted many recipes that use a two-heat method of cooking. My goal with this recipe was to get a juicy bird (without any brining), and a crispy skin. When it comes down to cooking there are two elements involved in success 1. The ingredients (including spices) 2. Cooking technique (temperature) I wanted to get the chicken to the proper “safe” cooking temperature without drying it out in the process. To achieve that goal, I began low, and then went high. I will give you the internal temperatures at the different stages of the cooking process; however, you do not need to be this precise. I took the chicken out of the fridge and let it sit in the pan for about 30 minutes. That brought the internal temperature of the bird to around 50f/10c. Then I brushed on the oil/butter mixture, added some spices, and popped it into a preheated oven at 250f/120c. I baked it until the internal temperature reached 125f/50c. That took 40 – 45 minutes. Then I cranked up the temp to 375f/190c and continued to bake it until the internal temperature registered around 160f/70c. That took 25 – 30 minutes longer. By then the skin was nice and crispy. I let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered, to redistribute the juice and then cut into it. It was the juiciest of birds and I DID NOT use a brine solution; in addition, everything from the wing to the breast was perfectly cooked. I served this the other day and not only did everyone finish their portions, but the bones were picked clean.
  • 5
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 6
    Place a rack in the lower position and preheat the oven to 250f/120c.
  • 7
    Add the butter and olive oil to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  • 8
    Add the chicken to your ovenproof skillet, then brush with the olive oil/butter mixture.
  • 9
    Lightly sprinkle with the spices.
  • 10
    Place into the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, then raise the temperature to 375f/190c.
  • 11
    Bake until the skin begins to brown, and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160f/70c, about 25 - 30 minutes longer.
  • 12
    Remove from the oven, cover, and allow to rest for about 8 – 10 minutes before serving.
  • 13
    Covering and resting the chicken will allow the juices to redistribute, and carryover cooking will raise the internal temper to around 165f/75c, which is considered safe for poultry.
  • 14
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • So Yummy
    15
    Cut up and serve rustic style with your favorite sides. Enjoy.
  • 16
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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