Broiled chicken is the most spectacularly delicious dish. Dried out, boneless, skinless chicken breast has given chicken a bad. These days the standard chicken dish has no chicken flavor, it is usually boring white meat with other flavors added. Broiled or roasted chicken, however, is full of chicken flavor and soul. Roasting chicken pieces on the bone with the skin attached gives the meat a lot more flavor. As gross as this sounds, an animal’s “flavor” does not come from the muscle fibers, but the fat, skin and bones; removing those removes the chicken flavor.
Brining helps unlock the chicken flavor and keeps the meat moist. It is important to wash the chicken off really well after brining to remove the salt. I didn’t do a good job and our chicken was a little too salty. After rinsing, thoroughly dry the chicken. This is important to help ensure that skin gets crispy. If the chicken is still wet, it will steam instead of roast.
I also got to try out my new kick ass soapstone roasting pan. It is carved soapstone dish that is about an inch thick, with a copper rim and handles. It really is a pizza stone on steroids.
Simple Broiled Chicken
- 3/4 cup kosher salt or 6 tablespoons table salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, wings removed and reserved for another use, chicken cut into 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, and 2 breast pieces. See notes below on how to do this. (I just got pre-cut chicken parts )
- Ground black pepper
- In a gallon-sized zip-lock plastic bag, dissolve kosher salt and sugar in 1 quart of water (I did this in a bowl and then poured it into the bag, much less messy). Add chicken and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible; refrigerate until fully seasoned, about 1 hour. Remove from brine, rinse well, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. (These steps are very important, make sure you rinse and dry well! )
- Meanwhile, adjust one oven rack to lowest position and other rack to upper-middle position (top rack should be about 5 inches from heating element; bottom rack should be 13 inches away); heat broiler. Line bottom of broiler pan with foil and fit with slotted broiler-pan top. (Or if you are kick-ass like me, use your soapstone roasting pan )
- Make three diagonal slashes in skin of each chicken piece with sharp knife (do not cut into meat). Season both sides of chicken pieces with pepper and place skin-side down on broiler pan.
- Broil chicken on bottom rack until just beginning to brown, 12 to 16 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken skin-side up and continue to broil on bottom rack until skin is slightly crisp and thickest part of breast meat registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes (if some chicken parts are browning too quickly, cover only those pieces with small pieces of foil).
- Transfer breast pieces to plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Continue to broil thighs and drumsticks on bottom rack until thickest part of meat registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes longer.
- Return breast pieces skin-side up to pan and move pan to upper rack; broil until chicken is dark spotty brown and skin is thin and crisp, about 1 minute.
- Serve immediately.
Cutting up a whole chicken:
- With a sharp chef’s knife, cut through the skin around the leg where it attaches to the breast.
- Using both hands, pop each leg out of its socket.
- Use your chef’s knife to cut through the flesh and skin to detach each leg from the body.
- A line of fat separates the thigh and drumstick. Cut through the joint at this point.
- Using poultry sheers, cut down the ribs between the back and the breast to totally separate the back and wings from the breast.
- Place a chef’s knife directly on the breast bone, then apply pressure to cut through the bone and separate the breasts.