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Cornstarch Chicken -- what went wrong?

DawgDaysDawgDays Posts: 83
edited October 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hey gang --

I took up the advice of a few posts I'd read and dusted 2 couple bone-in, skin-on breasts last night after applying my rub. I cooked skin up, direct at 325* to an internal temp of 160*. Didn't flip them at all. A few parts of the skin were nice and crisp, but the vast majority was very chewy and virtually inedible. What went wrong? 

I did some more forum lurking this morning and discovered that some people poke holes in the skin to let the fat drip out -- is it really that simple? Should I have cranked the temp above 400* for the last few minutes? Should I have flipped them at any point and put the skin down? 

I'm cooking 3 more breasts tonight and would like to nail it on the next try. Any help would be much appreciated!

Comments

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    Flipping skin side down will certainly help, even w/o cornstarch.

    I've been working on crispier skin, and I find 2 things help. Loosen the skin. Put the cornstarch on first and be sure to let the chicken sit till it is dry to the touch. That can take about 90 minutes, so its not very quick. But it doubles the chance of crispness.

    Something that also seems to help is to add even more fat. I work a little soft butter under the skin when I loosen it. It seems that when the skin has the hot air on the outside, and some hot fat on the inside, it fries better.
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,837
    My personal preference is indirect on a raised grid- as high in the dome as you can.  I use corn starch sparingly as it can get a little gummy.  I would mix a little in with your rub, 350-400ish raised indirect until 160ish.

    Definitely more than one way to skin a cat...or to "crispy skin" a chicken, but that has worked for me. 

    I haven't tried poking holes in the skin but that does stand to reason that it might allow more of the fat/moisture to drain out.  


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    I would have gone to a higher temp. Could you see clumps of starch on the areas that weren't crispy? This would indicate too much starch. Try brushing them with a pastry brush and let them sit till the moisture from the skin wets the starch. If the starch shows after the skin starts to cook then spray some pam or olive oil on those spots. You can flip them too.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,244
    Here is what I do for crispy.  Temp 375-425, see what you like 375 usually works for me.  I try to dry the bird out overnight in paper towels..

    http://www.greeneggers.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&func=view&id=993397&catid=1
  • Thanks everyone. Going to try a little bit of all of the above. Will report back with results.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    i start skin side down (its a hard habit to break putting the skin side up at the start of the cook
    :)) ) then i cook til the fat lifts the skin off the wet chicken meat, thats the key, get it away from the wet meat. it will sag just a little under the grill, the fat/grease puddles up on the skin and starts to deeep fry it, once its getting browned and crispy i flip skin side up, the now firmer skin will now have a gap between it and the moist chicken and crisp up further.  i dont time it but 325 raised grid, skin down for 30 to 40 minutes til it sags a little and crisps up, then flip to finish.
  • Alright time to report out.

    This second cook was fabulous. I borrowed a bit from everyone above. Poked holes in the skin, cooked raised direct at a hotter temp of around 400. Started skin-side down and flipped after about 35 minutes. Once flipped there were a couple spots where the starch had clumped but a few sprays of Evoo helped with that.

    Here is the finished product:

  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,837
    [email protected] Dawg...you sure you didn't fry that chicken??  Looks great!  I think you achieved crispy! 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • Doc_EggertonDoc_Eggerton Posts: 5,155
    Wow, and since no one else said it, thanks for sharing a fail so we can try and avoid it.

    XLBGE X 2, LBGE (gave this one to my daughter), MBGE and lots of toys

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    DawgDays said:
    Alright time to report out. This second cook was fabulous. I borrowed a bit from everyone above. Poked holes in the skin, cooked raised direct at a hotter temp of around 400. Started skin-side down and flipped after about 35 minutes. Once flipped there were a couple spots where the starch had clumped but a few sprays of Evoo helped with that. Here is the finished product:

    Dude,

    Next time just go lighter on the starch and do the olive oil spray on any clumps, Indirect, skin up....promise

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • @Little Steven - I was a little heavy handed on the starch. We throughly enjoyed the results so it wasn't a deal breaker, but your thought on indirect skin up is on deck for a weeknight next week :)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    when the corn starch thing started years ago, it was suggested to use a sifter lightly to avoid clumping.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    Hey... I started it, and the inverted chicken and prolly ten other things I can't remember right now. You started the 1200* pizza, the kale soup and the shower in the attic but gimme a little somethin here

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,859
    steven, you can have the chicken
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