Sunday, February 4, 2024

Vic's Chicken

 

This is something I have basically been making since I was twenty years old, and my grandmother made it long before that. I think it's delicious. And it's easy. Since it goes with so many side or starter dishes, I often make it for company. I once had a dinner party where only one person was a vegetarian and made enough side dishes to be substantial enough for her. Everyone else had the side dishes with a piece of this chicken, and it was a great success.

Don't substitute chicken breast halves here because the white meat does not take well to this method. (If you have someone to cook for or if you yourself don't like dark meat, Spicy Roast Chicken using breasts was discovered by Luisa, The Wednesday Chef, and it's as good a recipe as you will find anywhere for white meat chicken.)

I usually cook the chicken in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet depending on the number of pieces of chicken I am cooking. (My oven is large enough that it has been known to hold two 12-inch skillets filled with chicken pieces side by side.) 

If you have time, salt the chicken pieces all over, put them on a rack on a platter, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. This is dry brining and will help the chicken to crisp. However, more often than not I skip this step because I haven't planned it long enough in advance, and it's still great.

Vic's Chicken

Please read the whole recipe through before you start as steps are taken to avoid contamination of any bacteria that may be on the raw chicken.

Best-quality-you-can-get bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or whole chicken legs, as many as you like. 
Vegetable oil (I usually use expeller-pressed grapeseed.)
Salt
Pepper - be generous
Garlic powder
Whatever dried herb you like with chicken (I use GREEK oregano)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. If you have a roast setting, use it now.

Have the pan you are going to roast the chicken in on the counter or on the stove. Slick a tiny amount of oil in the pan and wipe any excess out with a paper towel. 

Also put a plate or platter large enough to hold the uncooked pieces of raw chicken on the counter next to the sink. 

Then put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of your sink,  covering the whole bottom. Put the chicken pieces in the sink on top of the foil, and pour a little oil on the chicken followed by salt, pepper, garlic powder, and whatever dried herbs you like with chicken. (Note that if you have salted the chicken in advance, don't use any more salt.) Now rub the chicken pieces all over with your hands to distribute the oil and herbs. 

Place the chicken pieces on the plate or platter you have put next to the sink. Then move them from the platter into the pan you will cook them in. 

Right now, to avoid contamination with any bacteria from the chicken, throw the aluminum foil away, wash the sink, and wash your hands before you touch anything else.

Put the pan in the oven and roast until the pieces of chicken are very, very crisp – 45 minutes to an hour. I usually cook them for an hour because the result I want is extremely crisp, well-done chicken. I baste the chicken occasionally while it is cooking, but I do not turn the pieces over. 

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