Crisp Roast Chicken (Cooks Illustrated)


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Even though it's less than 2 weeks till Thanksgiving, I've been craving a whole roasted chicken, which I rarely make. I scored a big 7 pounder for $5 and figured I'd try this Cooks Illustrated recipe.

Since they only call for a 3 1/2 pounder, I was leery about roasting mine at such a high temperature. I prepped my chicken just as they did, but roasted at 350 degrees, using a probe thermometer to monitor the internal temp. Oh, and I put my garden sage, rosemary and thyme in the cavity.

I swear that this was absolutely the most juicy, flavorful bird I've ever cooked! Actually, the skin wasn't the star - the meat was! Tasted as delicious and moist as a rotisserie chicken! Way to go, CI!

I will post their recipe and link but if you don't subscribe, I doubt that the link will work. ,


Crisp Roast Chicken (Cooks Illustrated)

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds), giblets removed and discarded (see note)

1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground black pepper


For best flavor, use a high-quality chicken, such as one from Bell & Evans. Do not brine the bird; it will prohibit the skin from becoming crisp. The sheet of foil between the roasting pan and V-rack will keep drippings from burning and smoking.


Place chicken breast-side down on work surface. Following photos above, use tip of sharp knife to make four 1-inch incisions along back of chicken. Using fingers or handle of wooden spoon, carefully separate skin from thighs and breast. Using metal skewer, poke 15 to 20 holes in fat deposits on top of breast halves and thighs. Tuck wing tips underneath chicken.

Combine salt, baking powder, and pepper in small bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with salt mixture. Rub in mixture with hands, coating entire surface evenly. Set chicken, breast-side up, in V-rack set on rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Using paring knife, poke 20 holes about 1 1/2 inches apart in 16- by 12-inch piece of foil. Place foil loosely in large roasting pan. Flip chicken so breast side faces down, and set V-rack in roasting pan on top of foil. Roast chicken 25 minutes.

Remove roasting pan from oven. Using 2 large wads of paper towels, rotate chicken breast-side up. Continue to roast until instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 135 degrees, 15 to 25 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Continue to roast until skin is golden brown, crisp, and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 10 to 20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.