adobo roast chicken
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Adobo Roast Chicken

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I have been looking for ways to make my roast chickens a little crispier. Normally, I just pat the chicken dry and use a little oil or butter. This generally leads to a pretty crispy skin, but not to the level that I have been wanting. So to the internet I went.

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The solution I tried this time around is a dry brine of the chicken. If you aren’t familiar, its basically rub the bird in salt and let it sit in your fridge for a while. By a while, I mean like hours; so this a weekend or prep the night before kind of recipe. Its a little more effort, but based in good science and it works.

The salt does a lot more than just helping to dry out the chicken. The key is to really let the dry brine do its thing for a while. The reason is that the salt actually starts by drawing out moisture and then it gets re-absorbed into the chicken. This helps to lock it in while ultimately helping the skin to be a little dryer.

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The process for this is important. Don’t cover or tent the chicken, it will trap moisture and make the bird stay soggy. The other key is to let the bird come up to room temp for an hour or two before you cook it so that it has time to properly dry. Plus starting from room temp is better for cooking.

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For flavors, I went with an adobo-inspired spice mix. The chicken roasted over citrus, onion, and poblano to infuse some flavor. Overall, I really like how this one came out. Next time, I may try to sear the skin side of the chicken first to give it a good crisp.

Wine Pairing: Sullivan Rose

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We have had this in our wine collection for a little while. Honestly, for a while, I didn’t think I really liked rose. I always felt that they were a bit heavy, feeling like slightly lighter reds, and not crisp like the whites I tend to prefer. This one definitely felt more like a crisper white.

I found this was to be very light, with a crisp taste and very little lingering flavor on the palette. Aroma and flavor were very much crisp tart fruit like apple and pear. This is definitely a good summer rose. It paired well with the Mexican spices, providing a refreshing flavor without being heavy. Definitely a winner in my book.

Adobo Roast Chicken

A new technique to try and get a crispier chicken skin.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: adobo, baked chicken, brine, dry brine, mexican, Roast, skillet, southwest, spatchcock, tequila, tex mex
Servings: 4 people


  • 3 Lb Chicken spatchcocked
  • Salt
  • 1.5 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Ancho Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Poblano Pepper sliced
  • 1 Lime sliced
  • 1/4 Orange sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves smashed
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion sliced
  • 2 Oz Tequila
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Pat the chicken dry all over.
  • Apply a moderate coating of salt all over the skin of the chicken and get some salt up under the skin.
  • Allow the chicken to sit in the fridge uncovered for at least 4-6 hours, but overnight works.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge about 1-2 hours prior to cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Place the pepper, fruit, onion, and garlic on the bottom of the skillet.
  • Pat the chicken dry a final time.
  • Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side up. Apply a very thin coating of olive oil. Top the chicken with the spice mix in an even layer.
  • Roast the chicken for 35-40 minutes.
  • Add the tequila around the bottom of the skillet. Roast for another 10 minutes.
  • Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes, then carve.

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