Spice Rubbed Picnic Chicken

I’ve mentioned before that eating organically is very important to my husband and I. We can’t afford to eat entirely organic, but we try to focus on buying as much organic produce, meats, and dairy as we can. Buying organic meat is definitely where it can blow your grocery budget, and our grocery store never seems to have organic meat on sale. However, every so often I will come across these lovely orange stickers that say “reduced for quick sale”. When I see those stickers, I tend to stock up on whatever they have. This usually leads me to buying cuts of meat that I don’t usually buy, which requires me to be a little creative in the kitchen.

This week I found some bone-in chicken breasts on sale, and I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to use on them. I’ve had this recipe saved for a while now, and we were not disappointed. The spice rub is done the night before, and soaks into the chicken overnight. By cooking the chicken with the skin on, it keeps the moisture in and produces some incredibly juicy chicken. The spice rub is great, and almost makes it taste like barbeque chicken straight from the grill. (Which is a great reminder of summer when we’re buried under snow!)

Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken
Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (breasts, thighs, and/or drumsticks), trimmed of excess fat and skin
1 tablespoons kosher salt
1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoons ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
Use a sharp knife to make 2 or 3 short slashes in the skin of each piece of chicken, taking care not to cut into meat. Combine the salt, sugar, and spices in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.

Coat the chicken pieces with the spices, gently lifting the skin to distribute the spice rub underneath but leaving it attached to chicken. Transfer the chicken skin side up to wire rack set over rimmed foil-lined baking sheet, lightly tent with foil, and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours.

Secure the skin of each breast piece with 2 or 3 toothpicks placed near the edges of the skin.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; heat the oven to 425 degrees. Roast the chicken until the thickest part of smallest piece registers 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees and continue roasting until the chicken is browned and crisp and the thickest parts of the breast pieces register 160 degrees, 5 to 8 minutes longer, removing pieces from the oven and transferring to a clean wire rack as they finish cooking. Continue to roast the thighs and/or drumsticks, if using, until the thickest part of the meat registers 170 to 175 degrees, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven; transfer the chicken to a rack and let it cool completely before refrigerating or serving.

Source: The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Cooks Illustrated

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