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Skillet Roasted Chicken


This is a simple, easy recipe to cook a great-tasting and juicy roast chicken in 30 to 45 minutes. All you need is a heavy-duty cast iron skillet, a chicken, and basic seasoning.

Make sure your chicken is defrosted before cooking, though you don't have to bring it to room temperature.

Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet in your oven, and heat the oven and iron pan to 500 degrees F. You don't have to oil or grease the pan in advance, heat it dry. Depending on your oven, it may take up to 45 minutes to pre-heat your pan.

While the oven is heating, prepare your chicken. Drain the liquid and remove the bag of giblets, and anything else that may have been added to it. Some chicken packagers include a plastic pop-out thermometer, while others may even have a brace or other items inside the chicken. Remove them all. Dry the outside of the chicken with paper towels; it doesn't have to be bone-dry, but dry enough to handle without soaking your hands.

Prepare a rub of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other herbs or seasonings you want to add. (Common seasonings include parsley, rosemary, thyme, and paprika.) Apply the rub all over the outside of the chicken, and add some to the inside cavity as well. Don't stuff the chicken, as stuffing will require a longer cooking time. Don't truss or tie down the chicken: leaving the legs free will allow more surface of the bird to contact with the hot metal of the cast iron pan. This will apply extra cooking to the dark meat of the legs, thighs, and underside.

When the oven is at 500 degrees, use heavy gloves or oven mitts to take the cast iron pan out, and place it on a trivet or your stovetop burner. (Be careful – the iron is very hot!) Take the chicken and place it in the skillet, breast side up, so that the legs and underside are laying directly on the hot metal surface. The chicken will immediately begin to sizzle and sear. Place the skillet and chicken in the oven at 500 degrees, and roast it for 45 minutes. That's it – you don't have to baste or turn over the chicken, just wait for it to finish cooking.

Before taking the cooked chicken from the oven, take down your smoke detector! This method of cooking chicken will produce a lot of smoke, and it will be all but guaranteed to set off your smoke alarm if you're not ready for it.

After 45 minutes, check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer, inserted into the thigh. The thermometer should reach 155 degrees F. If the temperature isn't high enough, put the pan and chicken back into the oven for another 10 minutes.

When the temperature of the chicken is at 155 degrees F, take the cast iron pan and chicken let it sit in the pan on your stovetop for another five minutes. The hot iron pan will roast your chicken further and bring the temperature up to 160 degrees F. At this point, the chicken is done. Use a turkey lifter, tongs and fork, or other instrument to take the chicken out of the pan and place it onto a platter for serving.

Here's a YouTube video of this recipe in action: Easy Roast Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet.