Have you ever had the experience of biting into a piece of chicken, only to discover that the skin is rubbery, flabby, and frankly inedible? I have. And it’s not pleasant. I can also promise you that it WON’T happen with this chicken.
Yield 6 servings
1 whole chicken, cut into eight pieces (or bone-in thighs, drumsticks, or breasts)
Salt, plus a pinch more
1/4 cup of all-fruit apricot jam
1 teaspoon of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and throw a heavy cast iron skillet in there while the oven heats up.
Take the chicken and bring it to room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Season all of the pieces well with salt, then take out the cast iron skillet and put it on the stove top over medium-high heat.
Place the pieces skin-side down and sear for 14 minutes. Don’t move the pieces at all: just let them do their thing.
Meanwhile, warm the apricot jam in a small saucepan until significantly more liquid-y or in the microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup, paprika, and a pinch of salt.
At about the 12 minute mark, brush half of the apricot mixture on the side of the chicken pieces facing up.
When the 14 minutes are up, flip the chicken over (so skin side up) and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for five minutes, then brush the chicken skin with the remaining apricot mixture and cook until golden-brown and firm to the touch, about five minutes longer. (A thermometer inserted in one of the breast pieces should read at least 160, while the thigh/leg pieces should be at least 175.)
Remove from the skillet and eat immediately with your favorite side dishes.