I spent a lot of time trying to find the best cast iron chicken recipe. Most of them did not meet my criteria for being simple and not taking a lot of time. The best recipes that I tried all had two things in common: very few ingredients and roasting the chicken in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Eventually, I took what I liked from the recipes I had tried and came up with this.
My favorite thing about this recipe is that the chicken roasts on top of the potatoes and the chicken juices help to flavor them.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Instant Read Thermometer
- 1 Whole Chicken – 3 to 5 pounds (just remember the larger the bird is, the longer it will take to cook)
- 4 Tablespoons oil of your choice – I like extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Onion – Medium size
- 6 Medium Red Potatoes
This cast iron chicken recipe relies on high heat to cook the skin to a perfect crispness and then lowering the temperature to roast the meat.
- Trim excess fat off of chicken and remove giblets from cavity (you may set the giblets aside for broth if you like)
- Place cast iron skillet in oven and heat to 500°
- Dice the onion and set aside
- Cut each potato into 6 to 8 pieces and set aside
- Rub 3 tablespoons of oil all over chicken and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on all sides
- When oven has reached 500°, place chicken in hot cast iron skillet breast side up
- Cook at 500° for 15 minutes – the skin will become golden brown
- Remove from oven and lower temperature to 350°
- Remove chicken from cast iron skillet and set aside
- Place potatoes and onion in skillet and stir them together
- Sprinkle potatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper
- Place chicken on top of potatoes
- Move cast iron skillet back to the oven and roast chicken until internal temperature at thickest part of breast is 165° (approximately 45 minutes depending on size of chicken)
- Once chicken has reached 165°, remove it from the skillet and set it aside on a carving board
- Stir the potatoes and check that they are tender. If they are not tender, put them back in the oven until they are tender
- Let the chicken rest for around 15 minutes before carving
- Carve chicken and serve with potatoes
Tips for Success
This cast iron chicken recipe is the easiest way I have found to roast a whole bird as well as potatoes. It is all accomplished in one pan. Play with the recipe and make it your own. If you dont want the potatoes, you can certainly cook the bird by itself. My goal with this recipe is to keep it simple but if you like other herbs and spices, go ahead and add them. I have used paprika, rosemary and garlic, all with great results.
To monitor the temperature of the chicken I like to use this instant read thermometer. I insert the probe into the thickest part of the chicken before putting it in the oven. The probe goes in the oven with the chicken and the display stays on the counter. After the chicken has been in the oven for 30 minutes, I start to check on the temperature, setting a timer for 10 minutes each time to ensure that I don’t forget.
Bones & Giblets
After the chicken is carved, I like to set aside the bones and giblets in a ziploc bag. I save them in the refrigerator for the next day to make broth for soup. This stretches the chicken out for another meal which is helpful for the food budget.