The Best Dry-Brined Roast Chicken

Dry-brined roasted chickens are the best way to get succulent, juicy meat, and crispy, golden skin! The best part? You only need 5 minutes and some space in the fridge!

Dinner doesn’t have to be full of bells and whistles. As a matter of fact, sometimes its better when it’s not.

This whole roasted chicken recipe is easy to make, has only 6 ingredients (two of which are salt and pepper), and only takes 5 minutes to prepare.

The real secret to this chicken, however, is giving it a 24-hour rest (or longer!) in the refrigerator before roasting. This gives the skin a chance to dry out (dry skin=crispy skin) and for the seasonings to flavor the meat. If you can let it sit for 72 hours that’s even better!

I love this recipe because it gives me room for spontaneity. The chicken might be in the refrigerator for 24-hours, but if a friend calls and wants to go out to eat I can shift gears and roast the chicken the following night, and my home cooked meal will be all the better for it!


To make this chicken, we are actually combining two techniques:

  1. Dry brining (also known as curing), which we used for our Thanksgiving turkey
  2. Air drying, which we also used for our turkey and for some crispy skin experiments we did a while back.

Dry brining allows the salt and seasonings to penetrate into the meat of the bird without all the fuss of soaking it in salt water for 24 hours. Air drying reduces moisture on the skin and makes it extra crispy!

Curious about the methods of our madness? Check out those other posts linked above. If you just need a chicken recipe, then read on!

Go ahead and give the chicken a good rub down a day or three before you want to roast it. When you’re ready to make dinner rub a little additional oil on the outside of the bird, add another sprinkle of salt and pepper then pop it in a hot oven.


I will freely admit basting keeps you in the kitchen and tied to the stove, but I think it’s worth it. Basting helps to keep the meat tender and moist, while flavoring the surface of it with those lovely seasoned juices. It also creates a more deeply colored bird that is a site to behold.

That showstopper moment is practically a requirement for Thanksgiving, but not so much for weeknight chicken. If you forget to baste or you just don’t want to do it, the chicken will still taste and look great.

Also, chickens are processed in different ways. Some chickens have more fat than others. Your chicken may or may not release a lot of juices in the first hour while it’s roasting. Either way is ok.

Once your chicken begins to release the juice, even if it’s at the 45- to 60-minute mark, start basting. If the juices release later rather than earlier baste every 15 minutes rather than every 20.


Consider this chicken your starter package! Dress up or add to the seasonings anything that suits your fancy. Try:

  • Orange, fennel and garlic
  • Thyme, parsley, rosemary, sage and lemon juice
  • Try using butter instead of oil


  • I love mashed potatoes with anything, including chicken!
  • Lemony Broccoli Rabe is always on the rotation at my house.
  • Roasted Carrots go well with everything!
  • The crisp, crunch of a Classic Wedge Salad is a refreshing side

And don’t forget to save the bones to make chicken stock! You can make your stock on the stove top, in the slow cooker, or the pressure cooker.


  • Keller’s Skillet Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
  • Honey Glazed Lemon Roast Chicken
  • Roast Chicken with Carrots
  • Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken
  • Roasted Garlic Chicken

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