Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Cut Up Chicken

A whole chicken, cut up, seared and roasted in a cast iron skillet with tarragon, thyme and fresh rosemary and lemon slices.

Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Cut Up Chicken

Chicken is so economical, and we eat a lot of it in this house. I often buy the big family packs of chicken pieces and split them up, or whole chickens when they go on sale for 99 cents a pound and under, cut them up and freeze them. Leg quarters, drumsticks, wings, whatever is on sale, I know I'll find a use for it. Sometimes we'll make a meal out of wings!

My least favorite piece of chicken, and the one I don't buy very often, are the ever popular boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I do buy them when they are on sale or a BOGO, of course, but I'd much rather pick up bone-in breasts on sale and bone them myself after cooking, because there is a lot more flavor to them. I can remember a time when that's what you had to do if you wanted boneless and skinless chicken breasts!

To me, one of the most intoxicating kitchen fragrances comes from a chicken or turkey roasting in the oven, and that's my favorite way to cook a cut up chicken too. Folks often only think of a whole chicken when the subject of roasting comes up, and don't often do it because it can seem a little intimidating. A cut up chicken is much more manageable and is readily available already cut up for you.

Simple and classic, cooked in the same method as a whole chicken, but cut up into 8 to 10 pieces, skin-on and bone-in y'all, and simply sprinkled with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkle of Cajun seasoning, if you're so inclined, with some smashed garlic cloves, lemon slices, and a bit of tarragon, thyme and rosemary tossed in. Classic, simple and delicious.

Here's how to do it.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large cast iron skillet. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning. Brown chicken, in batches, over medium high heat on both sides. Remember you are not cooking the chicken, you are only starting the browning process.

Carefully remove the skillet from the heat and return all pieces of chicken to the skillet. Sprinkle with tarragon and thyme. Dot butter on top and scatter 4 medium sized smashed garlic cloves and lemon slices from one lemon all over the top. Add a couple of fresh rosemary sprigs or some dried rosemary.

Place into center rack of the oven and roast at 450 degrees F for approximately 35 to 45 minutes for a whole cut up, bone-in chicken, or until juices run clear when pierced with the tip of knife. Check temperature at 30 minutes. Chicken should register 165 degrees F for breast meat and 175 degrees F for thighs and legs on an instant read thermometer, when inserted into the thickest part, and not touching any bone.

For large, whole leg quarters you'll likely need roughly 50 to 55 minutes and, if you insist, about 15 to 20 minutes for boneless breasts. Whatever you do, remember all ovens vary and thermostats are often not accurate, so take care not to overcook.

Recipe: Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Cut Up Chicken

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 35 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) whole, bone-in, skin on, chicken, cut up
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Cajun seasoning, to taste, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of cold butter, sliced thin
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet. Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and brown both sides in the hot oil over medium high heat, cooking in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet.

Carefully remove skillet from the heat and return all the chicken to the skillet, skin side up and larger pieces in the center; sprinkle with tarragon and thyme. Dot with butter and scatter the smashed garlic and lemon slices all over the top; add rosemary sprigs.

Place skillet on center rack of the oven and roast at 450 degrees F for approximately 35 to 45 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with the tip of knife and breast meat registers 165 degrees F; thigh and legs 175. Check first at 30 minutes and do not overcook.

Pan Sauce: Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm. Drain off most of the fat from the skillet and place over medium high heat. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth or stock, and bring to a boil, while scraping up pan drippings from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce to medium and boil, stirring often, until mixture reduces. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter to finish, then spoon over chicken.

Cook's Notes: If you don't have a large cast iron skillet, use any large skillet to brown and transfer to an oblong baking pan. Substitute fresh or dried herbs. Cooking times are estimate only and will depend on the type of chicken used and the size of the individual pieces. You will need roughly 35 to 45 minutes for a whole cut up, bone-in chicken, 50 to 55 minutes for large, whole leg quarters, 15 to 20 minutes for boneless breasts. Always check with an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, and not touching any bone. Chicken should register 165 degrees F for breast meat and 175 degrees F for thighs and legs on an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, and not touching any bone.

Source: http://deepsouthdish.com

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on December 10, 2013
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  1. This is my kind of chicken and I bet the cast iron skillet will make a nice crust. Yum! Thanks for the idea.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda @ Tumbleweed Contessa

    1. It's getting harder and harder to handle that cast iron, especially the big skillet, but I do drag them out for a few special things!!

  2. Great looking chicken Mary and I like the flavors you used. I'd have to stir some flour into that fat in the pan ahead of the broth as I really like fried chicken gravy but can't remember the last time I had it. I remember in the early 60's my mom waiting until whole chicken went on sale for 19 cents/lb before she would buy it - considering some things maybe it hasn't gone up so much.

    1. Thanks Larry!! I'm like your mom. I wait for when the chickens go on sale & stock up on as many as they will let me take. Usually there is a limit of 3 but they went from being 69 cents for the longest to pretty much 99 cents a pound all the time now. Still not so bad in comparison to a steak right?!

  3. Could I cook it at 375 degrees for a longer time? When I turn up the oven for a dish that has oil of any kind, the over starts to smokes like crazy. It never happens at 350.

  4. Chicken is going to be on sale for 79 cents a pound tomorrow. I will be buying a few and giving this recipe a try. Thanks for the idea, Mary.

    1. Oooo, that's a great price! Hope you enjoy the chicken.

  5. Mmmm-MMMM! That looks fantastic! I'm pinning this to use very soon! :)

  6. Other than grilling, skillet roasted chicken has to be my second favorite preparation. Yours looks killer, Mary.

  7. Mary I don't know what it is about rosemary and lemon together that does something wonderful to chicken, oh man that bird was good. Made it the other night. I have a big heavy duty skillet takes both hands, arms and legs to lift it out the oven. This was real good, its a keeper. Easy simple, no fuss just good. We all loved it. ♥

  8. This was delicious! I used a family pack of thighs and had nothing but raves. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're very welcome & so glad that it was enjoyed! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back by and let me know - I really appreciate that!

  9. Hi Mary,
    What size cast iron skillet are you using here to roast the entire chicken? I know of course it depends on the size of the
    chicken but let's say it is a 3-1/2 lb. fryer. Are you using what is called a No. 10 skillet, which is actually 12 in. dia. across the
    top edges of the pan? I only have a No. 8 and I'm thinking
    all of the chicken will not fit into it to put in the oven.


    1. Yes! I really dislike how Lodge marks their skillets because it's confusing, but that is correct, it's the large Lodge 12-inch marked as 10SK on the back.

  10. Sounds delicious! Can u do it with a turkey? I have one in the freezer.

    1. I suppose you could but since the turkey is so much larger than a fryer, I have no idea where to start with that!

  11. 450° for 35-45 minutes? Did someone close to you die of salmonella from eating chicken jerky? 350° for an hour will work just fine without scorching the sugars in the lemon. Followed the cremation instructions and nothing but char on the bottom. Chicken was salvageable, but there was no pan sauce. As written, this was made in a kiln.

    1. Thanks for your "input" Ben although it was a unnecessarily smart aleck and rude, but maybe that's just your personality? Listen. What you see above here is what I did and do. Maybe your oven runs super hot, maybe you didn't follow my suggested instructions, or pay attention to the fact that the time is approximate as it always is with cooking, but what is pictured above is made from the recipe as it is written. It's not baked chicken - it's roasted chicken - but the method & seasoning would work just fine if you want to tone down the temp and make it baked too.

  12. I made this last night. It was delicious! I'll be making this again.

    1. Thanks Corene! I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it!!


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