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The Best Way to Salt Chicken Breasts

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2016

In the past we’ve advised working your fingers between the skin and flesh to apply salt to chicken breasts. But doing so can be messy and awkward. Here’s our new approach.

To keep the recipe for our Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts (see related content) simple, we decided to forgo brining and salting. But since we wanted well-seasoned chicken, we knew we had to put salt under the skin, not just on top. In the past we’ve advised working your fingers between the skin and flesh to loosen the skin and then going back underneath to apply the salt. But doing so can be messy and awkward, and getting the salt evenly distributed over the meat can be a challenge. Here’s our new approach.

Using your fingers, carefully separate chicken skin from meat. Peel skin back, leaving it attached at top and bottom of breast and at ribs. Repeat with remaining breasts. Sprinkle measured amount of salt evenly over all chicken, then lay skin back in place.