This isn’t a super long post, but it’s an important one when considering turkey or even chicken. As with most things fatty, we look for that fat to be unctuous and crispy. Think of how much we love that crispy leg of duck confit or when that chicken comes out of the oven and the skin is so crispy it snaps. Those are the moments when you just smile and can’t wait to rip it off and dive in. This however, seems to be something that a lot of people aren’t able to achieve despite it being one of the most simple things in the world of cooking.
So what’s the secret you might ask?
Two simple things…Salt and Time.
As with most things in cooking, salt and time have the ability to make anything better. Take charcuterie for instance, essentially the act of preserving. From beautiful salami to your favorite pickle, it’s all about salt and time and a chicken or turkey is no different. Applying those two simple ingredients, you can end up with a super tasty, and crispy, chicken or turkey skin.
Now, the recipe, or two steps that is. At least one day ahead of time and no more than two days ahead, simply generously salt the bird making sure that you have a good amount of salt covering the skin. Place in the fridge and let sit until your’e ready to cook the bird 24 – 48 hours later. What you’ll start to see happen is the skin dry out and become tighter against the bird. This is exactly what you want— the drying out of that skin and the seasoning of the bird. The salt will work its way into the bird for seasoning, but it also pulls out moisture, allowing the skin to get drum skin-tight and potato-chip-crispy. When the bird is ready, simply cook as normal, perhaps even coating it in lard or butter (an upcoming post on that shortly) and you’ll have a lovely skin to enjoy.