The Mistake You Might Be Making When Resting Roast Chicken

Few things are as satisfying as a perfectly cooked roast chicken. The golden, crisp skin contrasting against the moist and tender meat beneath is a feast not just for the stomach, but for the eyes too. But for all the love and care we put into selecting, seasoning, and roasting our poultry, there's a step where many cooks often falter — the resting phase. This step is essential because it allows the juices to redistribute themselves, ensuring every bite is succulent. 

However, how you rest your chicken can significantly affect its final texture and taste. The most common blunder? Covering the chicken, often with foil, while it rests. When you wrap your chicken in foil, you're not just retaining heat, you're also trapping steam. This results in that beautifully crisp skin you worked so hard to achieve turning soggy. The contrast between the skin and the meat disappears, and the delightful textures that make roast chicken such a treat get compromised.

The proper way to rest roast chicken

Instead of sealing in steam, a better approach is to allow the chicken to rest uncovered. This gives the meat ample time to redistribute its juices while also maintaining the integrity of the crispy skin. The recommended resting period is about 10 to 20 minutes. But if you know you'll take longer than that before carving the bird and are concerned about it cooling down too much, there's a solution that doesn't compromise on the skin's crispiness.

Instead of wrapping it in foil, consider placing your chicken in a preheated oven at 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This will not only keep your poultry warm but also ensure the skin remains dry and crisp. The ambient heat in the oven will prevent it from cooling down too quickly, while the circulating air ensures moisture doesn't settle on the outside. The result is a chicken that is warm, juicy and boasts a delightful crunch. Just be cautious not to leave it in for too long or at too high of a temperature, as this can dry out the meat.

So the next time you pull your bird out of the oven, resist the urge to wrap it up. Let it breathe, keep it warm in a preheated oven if need be and then when you carve into it, savor the perfection of your well-rested, crispy-skinned roast chicken.