Drying chicken before cooking is an important, but often overlooked, step that will keep meat juicy while making skin crispy. Because you are dealing with raw chicken, it is important to follow safe handling procedures. Always be aware of what the chicken has touched, and what you have touched after touching the chicken. Cleaning between steps and thoughtful preparation can prevent contamination. Drying chicken is like marinating - it requires a few hours of sitting time to be done properly, but can be done hours ahead of cooking.
Wash the chicken, including inside the cavity if using a whole chicken.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels or other kitchen paper. Place the chicken on a plate or plastic cutting board that has been covered with paper.
Put the chicken, uncovered, in the refrigerator for two to three hours.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Hold it over the sink to remove liquid and thoroughly pat dry again.