Roasting a chicken is one of those things that just doesn’t seem possible on a weeknight. We tend to eat dinner early – usually around 6 – which doesn’t leave much time for heating up the oven, letting the chicken come to room temperature, and then roasting for 90 minutes or more, depending on the vagaries of our oven.
Keeping all of this in mind, I decided to try something new tonight – roasting in the cast iron skillet. Our friend Kevin has led me to believe that ANYTHING is possible in a cast iron skillet, and the internet seemed to confirm this argument with promises of a whole chicken roasted in half an hour. Half an hour!
We both left work early for an appointment with a mortgage lender – fact finding in hopes of buying a house next year – making it possible to set the chicken out with plenty of time to get to room temperature. As soon as we got home, I fired up the oven to 450F and cleaned the chicken, stuffing herbs under the skin and in the cavity. Following a tip here, I put the cast iron in the oven near the end of the preheat. Using an assortment of veg, I built a little log cabin to keep the chicken breast off the searing heat of the cast iron. I’m not sure this was worth it, but it did clear out some fading veg from the crisper while making the kitchen smell delicious.
Once in the oven, the chicken roasted about 20 minutes breast up, then another 20 minutes breast up. The temperature readings were a bit uneven, so we left it in for another 5-10 minutes. We probably should’ve let the chicken rest a bit longer before carving it up, but we were hungry and I was impatient, so Shane braved the very hot bird and burnt his fingers serving up dinner.
The verdict? Good in a pinch, but I’ll stick to my usual recipe from Jamie’s Dinners. The meat was moist and the herbs imparted a lot of flavor, but there were no noticeable advantages other than speed of preparation.
Fastest Roast Chicken from The Paupered Chef
A Thomas Keller Roast Chicken from MeatHenge
Roast Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary Roast Potatoes from Jamie’s Dinners