Anyway you slice it, I like chicken. I don’t think there’s a chicken recipe out there that I don’t love. And I’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d find a new way to roast chicken. But I’m always learning new things in the kitchen, and this roast chicken recipe has quickly become my go-to way of making chicken.
This recipe is so easy and I say this, without reservation, it produces the best roast chicken ever! The most time consuming part of the process is making the rub and cutting the vegetables. The rest of the work is done by the cast iron skillet. Amazing!
So let’s talk roast chicken in a cast iron skillet…
Lesson Learned 1 – Cut the butternut squash and russet potato into large pieces: This recipe is designed for two with plenty of chicken remaining for your favorite leftover recipes (I used my leftovers to make chicken salad). The thing to remember is the chicken will be roasting at a high temperature, 400 degrees, for an hour to an hour and a half. If you don’t cut your squash and potatoes into large chunks they will become mush. I cut my squash into squares a little less than an inch thick and they turned out perfectly. I cut the potato in half lengthwise and then in inch and a half sized half moons and again they were perfectly done.
Lesson Learned 2 – Resist the urge to baste the chicken: In the past I would baste my chicken all the time thinking it would create a crispy skin. In actuality it does quite the opposite. Because you roast the chicken at a high heat all you need to do is brush the skin with some melted butter before you put it in the oven. Then leave the chicken alone.
At the half way mark baste the squash and potatoes with the liquid in the pan. That worked well and helped to soak the bacon and chive seasoning I used into them. But remember to leave the chicken alone.
Lesson Learned 3 – Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove the skillet from the oven, cover it with foil and let is rest for 20 minutes: With chicken, turkey, steak, etc., it is so important to let it rest once the meat has reached its desired cooking temperature. That allows for all the juices to redistribute into the meat and not wind up running all over your plate. The chicken will carve easily if you let it rest.
I don’t think I will roast a small chicken using any other method than this one ever again. I was so amazed at how simple everything was and how delicious the chicken, squash and potatoes were. If you love chicken the way I love chicken, you simply have to try this recipe!
Roast Chicken In A Cast Iron Skillet…
1 five pound roasting chicken (I roasted a 5 1/2 pound chicken)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme (or you can used dried sage)
Butternut squash cut into large chunks (one small squash should be more than enough)
1 russet potato, halved and cut into 1 1/2 inch half moons
1 1/2 Tbs. bacon and chive seasoning
4 Tbs. melted butter, divided
1 tsp. garlic infused olive oil (you can use plain olive oil as well)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and pat dry the chicken. Mix together the garlic, salt, pepper and thyme to use as a rub. Using your fingers, slide your hand between the breast skin and the chicken. Take the thyme mixture and rub it between the skin and the meat. Any remaining mixture can be rubbed onto the surface of the outer skin.
With a pastry brush lightly brush some melted butter on the bottom of a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet (I used a 10 inch skillet). Place the chicken in the skillet. Baste the top of the chicken with some butter.
In a large bowl cut up the squash and potatoes. Sprinkle them with olive oil and stir until the squash and potatoes are coated. Add the bacon and chive seasoning and stir until coated. Place the squash on one side of the chicken and the potatoes on the other. Pour the remaining melted butter over the squash and potatoes.
Roast for an hour to an hour and a half or until a meat thermometer stuck into the thickest area of the chicken between the breast and leg reads 160 degrees. (My chicken needed to roast for 1 1/2 hours. A smaller one should take about an hour). Half way through the roasting process baste the squash and potatoes with the juices that have accumulated in the skillet.
Once the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees, remove the skillet from the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.