Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

I will never roast a chicken any other way.

With help from Thomas Keller and my friend Suzanne (if you're in Chicago and need to get in shape, look her up!), I made the best chicken ever.

Preheat your oven to 425ish, with a cast iron skillet inside. While that's happening, get to work on the chicken.

You start by removing the wishbone. Why? I have no idea. And thank God I started at the right end of the chicken, or that would've taken a very long time. Wishbone removed, pat your chicken dry. Really dry. When you think it's dry enough, dry it some more. Salt and pepper the inside of the cavity, then do the same to the outside. Use one whole tablespoon of salt for the outside. You'll understand why when you taste it.

Get some string for tying the legs together. Shove the wing tips back between the leg and thigh, then tie the ends of the legs together. Sounds easy, huh? Yeah, if you have 4 hands.

Open the now-heated oven, deposit the chicken in the skillet, and close the door. At this point you may want to open the windows and turn your vent fan on. I had a lot of smoke. So much so that I lowered the oven temperature by 10 degrees. That probably didn't make any difference, but it made me feel better.

Your chicken is done when a thermometer reads 160-165 in a meaty part of the thigh.

The wing tips won't be crispy and worth gnawing on, since they've been tucked between the nether regions, so toss them. Better yet, save them for stock along with the rest of the bones. I recommend eating the wings first. Just because. Be careful when trying to remove the legs, this chicken turns out so tender that I was left with the leg bone in my hand and all the meat still attached to the chicken. So use a knife and work your way around the joint. And don't forget the crispy, salty, perfect skin.

Oh, and do you like the wine cork mat? I loosely followed the instructions at Craftynest. But there was no way I was going to cut 75 wine corks with a pocket knife. I used a band saw.


Dennis K. said...

I keep thinking your dog is a photo of a deer! haha. Anyway you and Darlene has got me wanting to roast a chicken again.. (or cook in general again) Thanks for the inspiration! :)

Vicki said...

Hey Dennis -
You mean Darlene from My Burning Kitchen, right? I just found her blog last week.
About the dog, that's funny because her type is called a "deer head" chihuahua (as opposed to the smooshed-face "apple head".
Glad to inspire!

Tuscan foodie in America said...

This chicken looks good. And I like the mat. Who cares if you used a saw? You still made it!

Vicki said...

Hey TFIA -
I was completely surprised at how good this chicken was, given that the only seasoning is salt and pepper. I want to try with an expensive free-range etc etc chicken next.