There are, by my count, at least seven levels of fried chicken. The worst of them is good; the best, which I waited forty-four years to find, led to what can only be called an out-of-body experience. Let’s start at …
Crisp, flavorful chicken skin is the mark of an accomplished cook. A combination of techniques and ingredients will get you perfect poultry skin when working with chicken thighs. You must dry the skin out before cooking and use high temperatures to let the chicken's natural layers of fat go to work crisping the skin. Once you perfect the method, you'll create show-stopping chicken each and every time. Add this to my Recipe Box.
Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels.
Rub the chicken all over with coarse salt. If you wish, you can mix the salt with black pepper and herbs for a flavor boost.
Arrange the chicken thighs, skin-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the thighs uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
Remove the thighs from the refrigerator and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven heats, brush the thighs with melted butter. Even though it's a healthier option, do not use oil; butter produces a significantly crispier skin.
Bake the chicken thighs until the skin is browned and the juices run clear, about 45 minutes.
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