Nothing beats a juicy, oven-roasted chicken with crispy skin. With a little prep time, you can achieve perfect crispiness using salt and another common kitchen staple. Photo by J. Kenji López-Alt.
Dry-brining a chicken will give you great flavour, but you'll need more than salt to get that crispy texture you want on the outside. J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats says the secret is baking powder (not bicarbonate of soda). Combine one part baking powder with three to four parts kosher salt, add a little black pepper to taste and sprinkle it over the chicken. Now let it rest in your refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours before you stick it in the oven.
The baking powder raises the skin's pH levels so the proteins break down more efficiently. The baking powder also mixes with the chicken's juices, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that increase the skin's surface area, giving it a crunchier texture when the bird starts to cook. You can use the same trick for turkey too.