This is the best roast chicken I’ve ever made. The three essentials for a good roast chicken recipe include crispy skin and perfectly cooked breasts and thighs. It’s usually difficult to achieve all three at the same time because the thighs usually take longer to cook. Using a cast iron skillet and starting the roasting at a very high temperature help to achieve all three. Cast iron gets very hot and distributes heat evenly so the part of the chicken (the thighs) that is touching the pan cooks more quickly than the part thats not touching the pan directly (the breasts) which is what you want so that they are done cooking at about the same time.
I let the chicken come to room temperature before I seasoned the skin with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and butter. Putting the chicken in the oven when it’s already at room temperature will help it cook more evenly. If you have time, you can also leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for a day which will help dry out the skin and make it even more crispy when you roast it. It’s not necessary for a weeknight dinner situation but it’s something that’s good to remember once Thanksgiving comes around when you’re roasting a turkey.
To make this a one-pot meal, I like to add potatoes, onions, carrots and celery to the pan. They’ll cook in about the same time as the chicken and also absorb the butter, seasoning and chicken juices. Having just one pan to wash doesn’t hurt.
I love garlic. When roasted, the flavor becomes mild and creamy and less harsh than when it’s raw. This recipes really highlights the buttery quality of the garlic and makes it a great dish served with some crusty bread.
This is a classic recipe that many, many cooks have made their own. This is my version. I use the thighs and legs because they have more flavor than the breast and also because they cook more evenly than if I were using white and dark meat. I also find it tastier than roasting a whole chicken because it absorbs the flavor of the sauce while it’s cooking. While the classic recipe calls for 40 cloves of garlic (obviously!), I usually try to use as many as I can stand to peel. Here is a great video from Saveur for “How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds.”
Posted in Meat
Tagged chicken, garlic
I’ve been practicing how to properly break down a chicken because it’s such a useful skill. Whole chickens are much cheaper than individually packaged breasts and legs and you’ll also have leftover bones to make stock which is infinitely better than any store bought stock you can find. Serious Eats has a helpful slideshow that has pictures for every step of the way although I don’t think the cleaver is really neccessary- a chef’s knife will work just fine for that step. For this recipe, I had some leftover Chana Masala and wanted to make a marinade that would go well with that so I came up with this Ginger-Lemon Chicken baked in the oven.
Posted in Meat