This cast-iron roast chicken is the perfect main dish to serve for a Sunday night dinner! It is moist and juicy and seasoned to perfection. Serve it with a skillet of caramelized root vegetables that roasts at the same time as the chicken, making the whole meal so easy because all the cooking is "passive cooking"!
The fantastic conducive quality of cast iron will produce an evenly cooked chicken that is crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The chicken is also extra flavorful thanks to my rosemary garlic butter placed under the skin.
The Benefits of Cast-Iron Chicken
- Cast iron is one of the world's best heat conductors and when you roast a chicken in a cast iron skillet it turns out so tender and juicy!
- If you don't already own a cast iron skillet, it's a great investment. They get even better with age and you can use them for so many other things. Like my Overnight Cinnamon Buns, or my Blackberry Cornbread Skillet Cake or a wonderful Apple Crisp Recipe too.
- But except no imitations, go for the Lodge Cast Iron Skillets, they are the best around and will last for years. They are the kind of kitchen pieces that become "heirloom quality" because they get better with age. And save yourself the hassle of "seasoning it" Lodge now offers a pre-seasoned model which is the way to go!
- At the end of the video tutorial for this recipe (see video in recipe card below) I offer tips on how to care for your cast iron pans so they don't rust. For cleaning, I recommend a good scraper and brush and then you'll be all set!
- Kosher chicken: I like to use kosher chicken because the salt used in cleaning the chicken during the kosher process, acts like a brine, which I find creates a juicer, more tender chicken.
- Butter: Melt the butter and allow it to cool, that way it won't "cook" the chicken before you are ready! The butter will be used under the skin, to cook into the meat as it roasts adding wonderful flavor!
- Garlic clove: The garlic will flavor the butter and the chicken as it roasts.
- Salt: For adding flavor and retaining moisture.
- Rosemary: Use fresh rosemary and chop it finely, it will flavor the butter and be placed under the skin.
- Cracked pepper: To add additional flavor to the chicken.
- Vidalia onion: Are wonderfully sweet and pair beautifully with the potatoes, but if you can't find them, regular white or yellow onions can also be used.
- Red potatoes: Wash and cut them into quarters with the skin on. It saves a ton of time leaving the skin on, and prevents the potatoes from drying out.
- Sweet potatoes: The sweet potatoes add a wonderful sweetness to the vegetables. I leave the skin on them as well.
- Olive oil: Drizzled over the top of the chicken before roasting will keep the skin crispy.
- Herbs de Provence: Adds an earthy flavor to the root vegetables.
- White wine: Select a dry white wine for the sauce recipe. Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc would work well.
- Dijon mustard: Adds some savory zing to the pan sauce. Feel free to add less or more depending on your preference.
- Chicken broth: For creating the pan sauce after the chicken is done
Step#1: Prepare the Rosemary Butter
- The rosemary butter is easy to create. You'll first melt the butter, then add the rosemary, garlic and salt and pepper, and let it cool.
- As the butter cools the rosemary and garlic will infuse a wonderful flavor into the butter.
- Allow the butter to cool, since it will be spooned under the skin of the chicken, and you don't want to put hot butter on raw meat or it will start to "cook" it before you are ready.
- Truss the chicken to seal the cavity shut and then drizzle olive oil over the top of the chicken and rub it into the skin. This will create a crispy skin. Then season with salt and pepper
Step#2: Prepare the Root Vegetables
- The great thing about this recipe is that the root vegetables can roast at the same time as the chicken.
- Be sure to cut them into large chunks, since they will roast for an hour and half, as long as the chicken. If you cut them too small they will become overdone before the chicken is done.
- If the red potatoes are small, cut them in half instead of quarters.
- As the chicken roasts it will create lovely pan juices, baste the chicken with this sauce, every 20 minutes or so.
- It's also great to add a spoonful or two of this pan sauce to the vegetables, as they roast. It will add delicious flavor to them.
Step#3: Allow the Chicken to Rest
- It's important to let the chicken rest for at least 10-15 minutes before carving. This will keep the interior tender and juicy.
- If you carve the chicken too soon, the juices will spill out and will lead to a dried out chicken.
- As the chicken rests you can keep the vegetables at room temperature, the cast-iron will keep them warm, or you can pop them back in the oven at 200F, while the chicken rests and you make the sauce.
- 1 whole 4lb (1800g), Kosher chicken
- 3 tablespoon (45 ml) butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh rosemary, minced
- freshly cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
For the Roasted Vegetables:
- 1 Vidalia onion, cut into chunks
- 2 cups (200g) red potatoes, skin on, cut into quarters
- 2 cups (200g) sweet potatoes, skin on, cut into chunks
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoon (30 ml) olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) herbs de Provence
For the Sauce:
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard
- ½-¾ cups (120ml-180ml) chicken broth
- freshly cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F/(176C)
- Allow chicken to come to room temperature. About 15 mins or so.
- Melt butter, add garlic, salt, rosemary, and pepper. Set aside.
- Insert a spoon between the breast meat and the skin to loosen the pocket. Spoon in 2 spoons of the butter mixture inside the pocket of each breast. Massage skin to distribute the butter over breast meat.
- Place chicken in a 12” (30 cm) cast iron pan. Tie legs together with butcher's twine. Or what I think is even easier is to cut a ½"-1" slit in the fatty flap on either side of the chicken cavity. Cross the chicken legs to close the cavity and push the drumsticks through the slit, it will keep them in place! See the video demo below to see exactly how this is done.
- Brush the skin of the chicken all over with olive oil for a crispy skin. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a second cast iron skillet (10" (25 cm), layer the onions, and both potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and herbs de Provence. Toss to coat.
- Place both skillets in the oven for 1 hour and 30 mins. Every 20 mins or so spoon the pan juices of the chicken over of the top of the chicken.
- Once the vegetables start to cook down and become tender you can begin to stir them occasionally, adding a spoonful of the chicken pan juices, and tossing to coat.
- The chicken is done once its internal temperature has reached 165F in the thickest part of the thigh. Remove the skillets from the oven. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 mins. The cast iron will keep the veggies warm or you can pop them in a 200F oven while you make the sauce.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, and heat until the mixture is reduced by ⅓. Add the mustard and whisk. Slowly add the chicken broth until desired consistency. Season with freshly cracked pepper.
- Carve chicken and place it on a platter. Spoon the pan sauce over the chicken. Serve with vegetables. Dinner is served!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1319Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 44gCholesterol: 429mgSodium: 780mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 6gSugar: 12gProtein: 116g