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A Common Baking Ingredient Is The Secret to Crispy Chicken

Four chicken thighs sit in a cast iron skillet.
Razmarinka/Shutterstock.com

When you’re frying up some chicken, there’s a good chance you already use a flour mixture paired with a wet ingredient like eggs or buttermilk. But when it comes to roasting your chicken and getting the skin crispy, there’s another common baking item you should try.

Baking powder is the key to crispy chicken skin. When you’re roasting chicken wings or baking chicken thighs, you want the outer layer of skin to add a bit of crunch, and it’s the baking powder that makes this happen.

To use this trick, combine one part baking soda with three parts salt and a dash of black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over your chicken (the trick should work on all kinds of chicken that still has its skin), place it on a baking sheet, and allow it to sit in the fridge overnight. Then, roast as usual.

But why does this work?

Baking powder is an alkaline substance which means it raises the pH of chicken skin. When this happens, the proteins break down more steadily making browning easier. When combined with salt, the powder also helps draw moisture to the surface where it can evaporate, and since drying out the skin is essential for crispiness, this will give you the best crunch possible.

Want to up the flavor while adding to the crunch? You might want to combine this baking powder hack with seasoning pockets.

[Via America’s Test Kitchen]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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