For The Juiciest Chicken And Crispiest Skin, Cook Them Separately

The whole purpose of purchasing chicken with the skin on is so you can reap the benefits of its crispy texture and fatty flavor. However, achieving that ideal end result can be difficult while also ensuring that the meat itself is cooked perfectly. Oftentimes when you're searing chicken in a skillet and the skin isn't up to par, the natural thing to do is to keep cooking it. While this should eventually result in beautifully browned chicken skin, unfortunately, you will also likely wind up with dry, lifeless meat. 

But according to celebrity chef, "Chopped" judge, and head of NYC's Butter restaurant, Alex Guarnaschelli, there is a secret to getting the best of both worlds and executing a brilliant piece of skin-on chicken: cooking the skin and the meat separately. As Guarnaschelli explained to Insider, the meat gets the grill and the skin gets the skillet for the best tasting chicken. 

Breaking up the process gives you the best of both worlds

Chef Guarnaschelli says to separate the skin from the chicken right off the bat. Simply transfer the skin to a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet, allowing the excess moisture to drain and yield optimal crispiness. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve the skin in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. Next, marinate your skinless chicken like usual. When you're ready to start cooking, grill the meat until it's cooked through (but not overdone!), making beautiful char marks on the surfaces. 

While your chicken is cooking on the grill, sear your chicken skin. Get a skillet onto a hot burner and drizzle in some oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the skin and cook until crispy, making sure to flip halfway through so that both sides crisp up. Once both the chicken and the skin are cooked, toss or plate them together and serve. 

This trick not only provides a crunchy topping and a perfectly cooked piece of chicken, but the grill adds a hint of smoky flavor that balances the fattiness of the skin. And for a lighter option, take advantage of the fat already present in the skin and cook it in the air fryer. This will still yield a crispy texture without the extra oil used in the skillet.