One of my favorite ways to prepare a roast chicken is in a cast iron skillet, nestled on a bed of veggies, and stuffed full of herbs….oh and BUTTER. Lots and lots of butter. Not only does it add a ton of flavor, it also helps give it that crispy skin that we all love.
This post is sponsored by ThermoWorks, the makers of the Thermapen and the awesome little ThermoPop because you gotta have a good thermometer to make perfect roast chicken! PS – just so you know, errr, I mean just so the FTC knows, this post will also contain affiliate links.
So I was skimming the March issue of Food Network mag and low and behold there’s a HUGE spread on how to perfectly roast a chicken – in a cast iron skillet. ◔_◔ As a matter of fact, I originally posted this same pic on my Instagram back on February 15th (HERE’S PROOF) and now I kinda wish I hadn’t waited so long to add it to the blog. I’ve just been so busy with gardening that they beat me to the punch. HOWEVER – mine is still better *wink*
How to Roast Chicken in a Cast Iron Skillet
I love how incredibly easy it is to make a roast chicken. THIS is my go to recipe when I don’t have time to hang out in the kitchen all day.
Making an unforgettable meal is as easy as 1, 2, 3 (4):
- Slice up some carrots, celery, and onions (doesn’t have to be perfect, just rough chop)
- Throw them in the bottom of a cast iron pan
- Add some fresh herbs
- Place your bird on top
To season the chicken, rub it down with butter (always), add PLENTY of salt and pepper, maybe a bit of sage and rosemary, some onion powder or even garlic and repeat this on the inside down into the cavity.
If you want, you can even add some garlic, celery, and onions in the cavity also.
Don’t forget to stuff a few pieces of butter under the skin, because, well, why not.
Bake your beautiful yard bird at 350°F until an internal temperature reaches 165°F. For this I used my ThermoWorks ThermoPop to snag that temp in as little as 3 seconds. Once it’s done, remove the chicken from the cast iron skillet and set on a cutting board to rest before digging in. If you’re wanting to take it to the next level, I’ve also added my instructions for making a white wine herb butter sauce to the recipe card below. Mmmm butter.
There’s one thing I’d like to add that I recently learned. If you’re using a fresh, young chicken (usually your own or from a local farm) you will find that when you cut into the thigh you might see blood. This is from cutting an artery and NOT from being underdone. For THIS reason alone use the super accurate ThermoPop to tell when it’s done as the temperature trumps any visual cues you may see. Granted, you want to make sure the actual juices are clear, but don’t cook the poor thing until it’s bone dry, there’s no need, especially if you use local, pasture raised chickens. I get mine for $6 a pop so it’s hard not to buy them!
My ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 is EASILY one of my most used kitchen devices so the ThermoPop had a pretty stiff competition right out of the box. I keep them both in the same drawer and quite honestly, if I need to quickly get the temp on something (especially if my hands are full/nasty/covered in raw chicken) I’ll grab the ThermoPop simply because it takes two hands to open the probe on the ThermaPen.
I love how easily I can whip out the ThermoPop and stick it into the roast chicken – all in one quick motion. It works in either hand and also has a back lit rotating display that’s super easy to read.
One other reason why I actually prefer the ThermoPop to the ThermaPen is because it’s only $29 vs. $99 which makes it an excellent gift idea. Don’t get me wrong, I am still obsessed with my ThermaPen Mk 4. I use it mostly when I am making candy or baking (it’s perfect for bread!) but I ultimately enjoy the convenience of the ThermoPop.
But then again, they are both rated number 1 by America’s Test Kitchen, so you really can’t go wrong, no matter which you choose!
How to Perfectly Roast a Whole Chicken with White Wine Butter Sauce
- 1 free-range chicken
- 2-3 carrots
- 2-3 stalks of celery
- 1 onion
- fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or sage
- butter, room temperature
- salt & pepper
To make optional White Wine Butter Sauce:
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2-3 tablespoons of cold, unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut carrots in half through the middle and then again in half lengthwise (so that they lay flat in the pan under the bird). Cut celery in half. Chop onion into big pieces and arrange in pan along with some fresh herbs for the chicken to sit on.
- Rub the chicken all over with butter and sprinkle liberally (and I do mean liberally) with salt and pepper. Go ahead and add some garlic and onion powder if you'd like. Grab some more BUTTER from the fridge and stick a couple of pats under the skin on the breast side.
- Chop up some more celery, onions, and carrots (garlic if you love it) into smaller pieces than before and cram them into the cavity of the bird. While you're add it, add in some more herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Place the chicken onto the vegetables in the cast iron skillet, breast side up. Replace the seasonings where it rubbed off when you moved it to the pan (because I know you did - well, I know I did at least)
- Bake the chicken until an internal temperature reaches 165°F at the thickest part of the thigh. Depending on the size of your bird, this can take anywhere from an hour to two or more. If the top starts to get too dark before it's done, tent it with some foil while still in the oven.
- When the chicken comes out of the oven, move it to a cutting board to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.
To make optional butter herb sauce:
- Strain the vegetables pressing down firmly to get all the juices - it should turn into mush. Discard them.
- Place the pan over medium heat and once it's hot, add 1/4 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan. Add back the strained juices to the pan and let reduce over medium to medium high heat until thickened.
- To finish, whisk in some freshly chopped herbs and a couple of pats of unsalted cold butter.
If you decide to make this recipe for roast chicken, please be sure to tag me on social or use the hashtag #faithfoodfamilyfun so I see it! I’d love to know what you think!
I’d also like to know which color ThermoPop would you choose? I remember I had SUCH a hard time deciding – but then again, I can’t decide on anything at all anyways.
Disclosure: How to PERFECTLY Roast a Whole Chicken is a sponsored post thanks to the generosity of ThermoWorks. However, all opinions expressed are my own, including thoughts in tweets. I received compensation, either monetarily, with a free product or both in exchange for this post. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.