Crispy Baked Chicken
For pull-apart tender chicken with crisp, deeply spiced skin, rub it with a spicy-sweet mix and roast it low and slow while you’re doing something else. Because this chicken is cooked at a moderately low temperature, the spices will bloom but not burn, and the chicken fat will render slowly and completely (which means you don’t need any oil). The smoky rub in this recipe will turn the chicken skin into what tastes like a barbecue potato chip, but you can use other spice blends, too, like garam masala or Montreal steak seasoning. Just be sure your mix includes sugar for browning and salt for accentuating flavors. Whole chicken legs (with the thigh and drumstick attached) provide a more generous portion of juicy meat and skin that shatters, but a mix of drumsticks and bone-in thighs work, too.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 4teaspoons dark brown sugar
- 2teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 4chicken leg quarters (about 2 ½ to 3 pounds), patted dry
Step 1Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne with a fork or your fingers. Rub the spice mix all over the chicken. (You can do this step between 1 and 12 hours ahead. Refrigerate uncovered, then bring to room temperature before cooking.)
Step 2Place the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet, skin side up. Bake, without flipping, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Eat the chicken with pan drippings spooned over top.