Does The Skin Impact Cooking Times For Chicken?

Sometimes, the best-tasting things in life are not the healthiest for us. While salted caramel, juicy burgers, bread bowls, and peanut butter bars taste divine and are worthy of all the love they receive, they are not exactly nutritious. We experience some not-so-nice bodily side effects if we eat too much of a good thing. Many people try to eat healthier by going gluten-free, vegetarian, or sugar-free, while others try to modify their favorite meals to make them "healthier." Sometimes, though, your food is good just the way it is, as is the case with chicken. 

The South China Morning Post tells us that some people feel inclined to strip the skin from their chicken in an attempt to reduce its saturated fat. However, chicken skin actually contains quite a bit of unsaturated fat, which is good for the heart and has the added benefit of giving your meat some flavor. It comes down to personal preference as to whether you prefer your poultry with or without skin. However, some people wonder whether leaving the skin on their chicken affects how long it will need to cook. Does a skinless chicken cook faster in a crunch?

Don't change your cooking time

Chicken skin is pretty yummy. If it was up to us, we'd always buy and cook chicken with skin because it helps retain moisture and flavor. This may also make us less likely to turn to unhealthy options, like breading (via Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health). As for the time it takes to cook chicken with skin versus without it, James Wilschke, sous chef at Middle Eastern restaurant Bavel in Los Angeles, tells Food & Wine that the cooking technique doesn't change. Chicken skin doesn't protect the poultry from the heat of the oven. When it warms up, the fat trapped in the skin melts, keeping your chicken extra tender and moist under the dry heat of the oven.

Another fantastic aspect of cooking with chicken skin is that it crisps up as the meat roasts in the oven. Crispy skin is super satisfying to bite into and provides a lovely little crunch before diving into the actual chicken. If you want to ensure that your chicken skin successfully crisps in the oven, Epicurious senior food editor emeritus Anna Stockwell suggests making sure your chicken skin is completely dry before cooking. This way, your skin will crisp up naturally as your chicken bakes to perfection — no need to shorten or lengthen your recipe's cooking time!