Picnic Chicken

READY IN: 6hrs 35mins
Recipe by KathyP53

This is from Cooks Illustrated and is touted as great barbecued chicken to serve cold, like on a picnic, without skin that turns rubbery.

Top Review by KWB5015

DH said it was a nice change from the way I've done chicken in the past; that was when it was 10 minutes out of the oven. Sending the rest with him to work today and will quiz him about it later. The skin got pretty dark, but it didn't taste burned, and it needed a little more salt for our tastes. I also should mention that I tarted up the basic spice rub with cumin, oregano and thyme and did not bother with securing the skin with toothpicks. It didn't suffer too much shrinkage. It was tasty.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Use sharp knife to make 2-3 short slashes in skin of each piece of chicken, taking care not to cut into meat. Combine salt, sugar, and spices in small bowl and mix thoroughly. Coat chicken pieces with spices, gently lifting skin to distribute spice rub underneath but leaving it attached to chicken. Transfer chicken skin side up to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet, lightly tent with foil, and refrigerate 6-24 hours.
  2. Secure skin of each breast piece with 2-3 toothpicks placed near edges of skin.
  3. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees. Roast chicken until thickest part of smallest piece registers 140 degrees on instant read thermometer, 15-20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees and continue roasting until chicken is browned and crisp and thickest parts of breast pieces register 160 degrees, 5-8 minutes longer, removing pieces from oven and transferring to clean wire rack as they finish cooking. Continue to roast thighs and/or drumsticks, if using, until thickest part of meat registers 170-175 degrees, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven; transfer chicken to rack and let cool completely before refrigerating or serving.

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