Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken

This is one of the EASIEST roasted chicken recipes I've ever made. People typically think of roasted chicken as a 'fancy' or 'company' meal, but the truth is, roasted chicken is extremely easy and economical to cook. Leftovers can be used in soups, salads, and casseroles and more, while the bones can be saved for making stock. Best of all, you will have only a single pan to clean!

This recipe uses a cast iron skillet in place of the traditional roasting pan; the juices from the roasting chicken help flavor the potatoes and carrots, which makes the perfect side dish to this meal. I don't brine the chicken, but I do salt it for about an hour before cooking, which helps keep in the natural flavors and juices.

Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Lemon Chicken

1 whole chicken, innards removed
1 tsp salt per 1 lb of chicken
Freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 small lemons, pricked with a knife or fork
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Fresh thyme sprigs
6 garlic cloves, smashed
Red potatoes, scrubbed & halved
Baby carrots

Rinse chicken and allow to drain. Rub salt all over the inside and outside of the bird and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature. Drain off any excess juices and cover the inside and outside with fresh lemon juice. Season the outside of the bird with black pepper.

Place carrots & potatoes inside a deep 12" cast iron skillet. Stuff pricked lemons inside the bird cavity along with the garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary & thyme. Place a few sprigs of rosemary atop the potatoes and carrots as well.

Place chicken, breast-side DOWN, atop the potatoes and carrots. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, then turn the chicken breast-side UP. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 1 hour.

Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. Serve with potatoes and carrots.

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