Cast Iron Roasted Chicken

Tonight’s dinner was a whole roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and haricots verts. It was a simple meal to make, nothing fancy, but it tasted great and was really satisfying. Something about roasting a whole chicken just makes it feel like fall.

For the chicken, I started by preheating my nine-inch cast iron skillet in a 500F degree oven with just a little bit of corn oil. I prepped the chicken by making a cut in each leg so they would lay flat in the pan. Just pull the drumstick out, slice the top part connecting it to the body, then flip it over and press the legs until they lay flat. I used my finger to make some pockets underneath the skin on both sides of the bird, which I stuffed with small pieces of softened butter. I sprinkled on some roasted garlic and mushroom powder and kosher salt, rubbed the bird down with a little olive oil, then put it breast side down in the pan. After 15 minutes at 500F degrees, I turned it down to 350F degrees and turned the bird to sit breast side up. I put it back in for about 30 or 40 minutes, until it was cooked through – 165F degrees.

For the mashed potatoes I used:

  • Four yukon golds
  • Three smashed cloves of garlic
  • About three tablespoons of butter
  • A half cup or so of half and half
  • A few dashes of salt

I boiled the potatoes and garlic in salted water until cooked, then pressed them through a ricer. If you don’t have one it’s fine to use a potato masher, fork, or even an electric beater, but I think you get the best texture with a ricer. I also find it saves time when I’m making refried beans or anything else that needs to be mashed.

For the haricots verts, I started by rendering three slices of uncured applewood smoked bacon, diced, in an ovenproof skillet. When the bacon was about done, but still a little under, I added half a package of haricots verts and a pinch of salt. After cooking for two or three minutes on the stovetop, I threw them onto rack above the chicken in the 350F degrees oven. I meant to pull them out after 10 or 15 minutes but forgot, so they stayed in for probably about 20/25 minutes, which was a little too long, but they were still delicious.

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