Roast chicken. Versatile? Yes. Impressive? Absolutely. Difficult? Absolutely not, especially with this foolproof recipe that delivers juicy, flavorful chicken every time.
The only trick to this recipe is to plan ahead (really, that’s it)—because the oven and cast iron skillet do most of the work. With some recipes that cook at high heat, the difference between a juicy chicken and a dry one could be minutes (and frankly, who can handle that kind of stress). Instead, this recipe cooks for a longer time at a lower heat (think rotisserie-style), so there’s no need to worry about being precise about pulling the chicken out at the perfect time. Carving is also pretty much a no-brainer considering the chicken comes out fall apart tender. Serve this with a simple green salad dressed with lots of lemon juice and some good, peppery olive oil.
Easy Cast Iron Roast Chicken
1 whole chicken, around 4-5 lbs
1 lemon, quartered
1 head of garlic, cut in half
8 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp onion powder
1 sweet onion, quartered
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Add the quartered onion, toss in the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Move the onion to the sides of the pan.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Ensure the cavity is drained of any water or liquid.
- Add a healthy pinch of salt to the inside cavity, making sure it’s evenly distributed throughout. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and thyme sprigs. Place the chicken in the center of the skillet breast side up, surrounded by the quartered onion.
- Mix a tablespoon of kosher salt with the onion powder and season the chicken all over. Pour the melted butter on top of the chicken and use a pastry brush to spread over the entire surface of the chicken. Using kitchen twine, wrap each of the legs and pull tightly to secure them together with a simple knot.
- Roast the chicken in the oven for approximately 3 hours, but begin checking the temperature at around 2 1/2 hours. The chicken is done when the juices run clear, the chicken pulls easily away from the joints, and the internal temperature reaches 165°.
- Allow the chicken to rest for at least 10-15 before carving.
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