Cast Iron Oven Roasted Chicken with Garlic & Herbs
Updated: Jan 6
Why cook a chicken in a cast iron pan? Good Question! Cast iron is a thick steel that retains heat. It’s like cooking a thick steak in a cast iron pan. When the steak is added to the hot pan, the pan retains its’ heat which gives the steak a nice sear.
The task with the chicken is to help ensure even cooking all around. By pre-heating the cast iron pan, the chicken starts to cook bottom up, and top down. When cooked to a temperature of 165’f in the thick part of the breast, and rested at room temperature for 10 minutes, you are guaranteed a juicy chicken.
Also, I highly recommend using a cast iron pan with grills. This lifts the chicken off the pan a little and helps the heat circulate around the chicken. And the chicken is not sitting in the rendered fat.
Chicken is a great alternative to “beef”. Sometimes, ok maybe too often, our family tends to eat more beef than we like, especially during grilling season. I’m trying to ensure we have a healthy balance with the meats that we cook. As always, too much of a good this is not a good thing! And we love chicken!
You may notice that typically I don’t truss my chickens. "To Truss or Not To Truss", that is the question! I’ve roasted “many-a-chicken", trussed and not trussed, stuffed and not stuffed. I find that not trussing and not stuffing the chicken, and preheating the pan, the chicken is cooked perfectly and evenly all around. Of course, feel free to truss and stuff. The chicken will be delicious as well! Cooking times will likely vary.
Also, I don’t tuck the wings under the bird. There is nothing like a crisp wing and wing tip to chew on - Chef's treat! I admit I get this from my mom. Growing up watching her cook, no tucked wings. It was usually a friendly fight for the wings and tips. Delish! Did I mention she is an amazing cook – True Story!
I just love my local butcher. I think they love me too. Let’s just say I’m there at least a couple of times a week.
More importantly, the chickens I buy from my butcher are locally raised, grain fed, free range, Mennonite raised, growth hormone and antibiotic free. That was a mouthful. These birds are plump, delicious and juicy!
Remove chicken from refrigerator, rinse with cold water, pat dry with paper towels and let sit to room temperature - 30 to 60 minutes. Please ensure you practice safe food handling to avoid any unnecessary hospital visits! K!
Place the cast iron pan in the oven and pre-heat to 400’f. I like to heat the pan about 10 minutes after the oven comes to temperature.
Place the chicken on a large cutting board. Sprinkle garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary, onion flakes, salt, pepper and oil over the entire chicken and in the chicken cavity.
Remove the cast iron pan from the oven and place on the stove top. And use oven mitts – Caution – HOT!
Using tongs carefully move the seasoned chicken to the hot pan, breast side up. Add the chicken stock (click here for my Healthy Chicken Stock Recipe), thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pan. Feel free to use water instead of chicken broth.
Move the pan/chicken to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan/chicken and baste.
Move the pan/chicken back to the oven for another 15 to 30 minutes, to an internal temperature of 165’f at the center of the breast meat.
Remove from the oven and move the chicken to a clean cutting board - cover loosely with foil.
Remove the thyme and rosemary from the pan – discard.
Pour pan juices in a medium size bowl – let sit for 10 minutes. Skim the fat from the juices and discard.
Cut up the chicken and place on a serving tray. Pour pan juices over the chicken.
Serve with your favourite side. Cook Well! Eat Well!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 60 mins
3 - 4 lb whole chicken – cleaned and patted dry
3 cloves garlic – minced
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Cast iron pan with grills
Basting spoon or baster
6 small bowls for garlic and spices (or 1 medium size bowl)
2 small bowls for pan juices
Remove chicken from refrigerator, rinse with cold water, pat dry with paper towels and let sit to room temperature - 30 to 60 minutes
Place cast iron pan in oven and pre-heat oven to 400’f
Place chicken on a large cutting board
Sprinkle garlic, dried thyme, dried rosemary, onion flakes, salt, pepper and oil over the entire chicken and in the chicken cavity
When oven is pre-heated to 400’f let the pan heat further for 10 minutes
Remove cast iron pan and place on stove top
Using tongs carefully move the seasoned chicken to the hot pan, breast side up
Add cup chicken stock to the pan
Add thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pan
Move the pan/chicken to the oven
Roast for 30 minutes
Remove the pan/chicken and baste
Move the pan/chicken back to the oven for another 15 to 30 minutes, to an internal temperature of 165’f at the center of the breast meat
Remove from the oven and move the chicken to a clean cutting board - cover loosely with foil
Remove the thyme and rosemary from the pan – discard
Pour pan juices in a medium size bowl – let sit for 10 minutes
Skim fat from the juices – discard fat
Cut up chicken and place on a serving tray
Pour pan juices over the chicken
Cook Well! Eat Well!
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