Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken (America's Test Kitchen)

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins

Saw this tonight on ATK and definately want to try it!! Placing here for easy finding later. As this recipe is for picnics, it is meant to be eaten at room temperature. Seems like a great alternative to fried chicken. (prep times are wild guesses)

Ingredients Nutrition


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

The chicken had a lot of flavor and the skin did come out crispy. I just thought it had too much sugar and because of the high heat you better have a super clean oven or your smoke alarm will go off. Ask me, I know. Made for Cookbook Tag in Cooking Games with Friends.

threeovens March 24, 2014

I saw this on ATK; glad to find the recipe here, thanks. We really liked this. I left out the cayenne b/c I found I had none, but the paprika was enough heat for my guys. Took a little longer to cook than expected, about 10 minutes. The skin was really crunchy, which I liked. DH and #2 always take the skin off, but the meat still had plenty of flavor.

CheapThrills July 17, 2010

This is an excellent recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I made it last year for a back-yard bbq (without the bbq). I think I had a couple of chicken pieces left. It was so finger-licken good!

PuggyMama June 22, 2009