Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Fennel and Carrots
The only nonnegotiables for roast chicken recipes are a) being generous with the kosher salt inside and out and b) letting the chicken sit out for at least an hour, which gives the seasoning time to work its way deep into the meat, meaning every bite is delicious through and through.
- 1 3½–4-pound whole chicken
- 2 fennel bulbs, cut into 6 wedges each
- 1 pound small carrots, scrubbed, cut into 4-inch-long pieces on a diagonal
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt, inside and out. (We use 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt per lb.) Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Let sit 1 hour to allow salt to penetrate, or chill, uncovered, up to 1 day ahead.
Place a rack in upper third of oven and set a 12" cast-iron skillet or 3-qt. enameled cast-iron baking dish on rack. Preheat oven to 425°.
Meanwhile, toss fennel, carrots, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper.
Once oven reaches temperature, pat chicken dry with paper towels and lightly coat with half of remaining oil. Drizzle remaining oil into hot skillet (this helps keep the chicken from sticking and tearing the skin). Place chicken in the center of skillet and arrange vegetables around. Roast until fennel and carrots are golden brown in spots and tender an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breasts registers 155°, 50–60 minutes (temperature will climb to 165° as chicken rests). Let chicken rest in skillet at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve. Serve with vegetables.
Cast Iron Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables
What is easier than roasted chicken for a Sunday dinner! With just the two of us I used these chicken thighs and legs along with some carrots and parsnips to make cast iron roast chicken with root vegetables.
I had intended to do this recipe with half of a chicken and had examined a package with a split chicken thinking that one-half would be just right for Don and myself. But apparently, I picked up the wrong package from the poultry case.
I was a little surprised and disappointed when I got home and saw that it was thighs and legs instead of a split chicken. My bad, but, that is okay, I can adjust.
Don and I have been suffering with a yukky head cold and this is the first day I even felt like cooking something. I am s o thankful for a freezer with lots of soup!
This chicken was pretty easy to put together, just some carrots, parsnips, garlic and herbs in my cast iron skillet, a dash of white wine, some seasoning and the chicken on top. A green salad finished it off, and we have leftovers for another meal!
Carrots, parsnips, garlic and fresh herbs.
Seasoned chicken thighs ready for the oven
|Amount Per Serving|
|Calories 576||Calories from Fat248|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 28g||42%|
|Total Carbohydrate 35.9g||12%|
|Vitamin A319%||Vitamin C44%|
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
Cooking Italy: Cast Iron Roast Chicken with Lemons
Last November I attended the Food Buzz Festival in San Francisco and was fortunate enough to have a free night to dine with a fellow food blogger, Peter G. We went to the Zuni Cafe, and at his suggestion we ordered their signature dish, Roasted Chicken with Bread Salad. This is not that particular recipe, although I immediately came home and replicated the dish for our Thanksgiving. There is no bread salad here, which is a big part of makes Zuni chicken, Zuni chicken, but what does remain is the secret to roasting chicken, no matter how you choose to flavor it.
The flavoring for this chicken is lemon. The easiest and guaranteed most successful recipe from Marcella Hazan&rsquos Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking has to be roast chicken with lemons. The folklore surrounding this lemon chicken is that a marriage proposal is soon to follow after it is served. Hmmm, cooking food a man will marry you for. If this sounds corny, old-fashioned, or sexist, I can&rsquot apologize. Food is a love language. Observe any Italian mamma, and it&rsquos undeniable.
Use an organic chicken. It makes a difference. Rinse in cold water. Pat dry. Salt using 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, wrap in plastic for 3 days. When ready to roast, rinse chicken again. Pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pierce two organic lemons all over with a skewer and place inside cavity of chicken. You can either sew up the chicken or use string to keep the lemons in. As the chicken roasts, the lemon soften and flavors the chicken.
The Zuni chicken is salted and refrigerated for three days. It is then roasted quickly at a very high temperature of 450 degrees, (turning once and starting breast side down) for 45-60 minutes. It will depend on your own oven, and the size of the chicken.
In Marcella Hazan&rsquos Essentials of Italian Cooking, she also suggests a one-hour, starting breast side down. However she cooks her chicken at a lower temperature.
I&rsquove done it both ways, and whichever temperature you choose, at least start with a very high temperature and a hot pan. You can reduce the heat to 400 after 20 minutes.
Here&rsquos what happens. You heat up your cast iron pan in the 450 degree oven. You place a &ldquopatted dry&rdquo chicken (seasoned with whatever herbs and spices you prefer), or in this case a chicken stuffed with lemons, and you will hear that beautiful sound of the skin hit the hot cast iron and sizzle. This is my favorite part of the process. The next favorite part is when you take the chicken out of oven after the breast has been turned over and you feast your eyes on the almost balloon-like skin that is crispy and oh so golden brown. It&rsquos hard to believe that when you cut through the crispy brown skin, the breast underneath is as tender as thigh meat.
The only way I have found to improve upon the Zuni chicken is to incorporate Marcella&rsquos idea of placing lemons that have been punctured all over inside the chicken. When I cut into the succulent breast meat and smelled lemons, I felt like I had never known how to roast a chicken before. I&rsquove had my successes with roast chicken, but not like this. Doesn&rsquot this make you curious as to what is happening? It did me, and here is what I learned.
Seven Tips for Successful Roast Chicken
- Salt in advance for up to three days &ndash gives the same effect as a brine.
- Chicken must be patted dry before placing in oven.
- Start with a HOT HOT oven, and pre-heated (seasoned) cast iron pan.
- Begin with the breast side down, and crisp up the back of the chicken first.
- Turn over after 30 minutes and finish with breast side up.
- It is not necessary to tie chicken unless you are stuffing it as in this case with lemons.
- Use Organic chicken there is a difference.
If you follow these steps, you will have a crispy, yet juicy roast chicken every time.
Roast chicken brings the best of both worlds to the table: It's a classic comfort food, but it's also elevated enough to serve for a special occasion, too. What's more, roast chicken is delicious fresh or served as leftovers, and you can prepare it simply with vegetables and herbs or boldly-seasoned with harissa, paprika, and other warm spices. With all its versatility, we can't celebrate roast chicken with just one recipe&mdashwe have so many succulent and flavorful ones to share, starting with the Roast Chicken with Broiled-Vegetable-and-Bread Salad that's seen here.
If you're looking for a classic roast chicken recipe, look no further than our Roast Chicken with Vegetables and Potatoes. Whole chicken roasts alongside carrots, shallots, and fingerling potatoes, plus lemon and fresh parsley leaves for added aromatic flavors. You'll wow everyone at your dinner table&mdasheven a hungry group of little ones&mdashwith this recipe.
Of course, roast chicken doesn't always mean roasting a whole chicken for a couple of hours. You can make a spectacular version of roast chicken using chicken breasts or thighs if you want to get dinner on the table in under one hour. From topping a grain bowl and salad with the meat to spatchcocking the chicken and roasting it in a cast-iron skillet, there's a reason why we never get tired of this staple protein: There are just so many delicious ways to prepare it.
So, whether you choose to keep things light by serving it with a kale salad or alongside hearty, seasonal vegetables such as cauliflower, sweet potatoes, or tomatoes, get to know some of our most delicious roast chicken recipes.
Butterflied Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables and Pan Gravy
Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and remove the innards from the cavity. Pat dry with paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour.
Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Use kitchen shears to cut out the backbone of the chicken. You can do this with a heavy chef’s knife, but most people find it easiest with the scissors. Reserve the backbone for stock later.
Lay your chicken open like a book on your work surface, skin-side up. Flatten the chicken with your hands with firm pressure you should hear a cracking noise. Sprinkle the chicken with the rosemary and fennel seeds, and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
While the chicken is searing, add the potatoes, carrots and shallot to a bowl along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well, making sure that all the vegetables are coated well with the oil. Flip the chicken and add the vegetables to the skillet.
Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables to a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, place the skillet over a burner and set to medium heat. Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in chicken broth. Reduce by half, or until the gravy coats the back of a spoon. Swirl in the butter at the end of simmering for a richer taste and glossiness.
Carve the chicken into pieces and serve with the vegetables and the gravy. Sprinkle the vegetables with additional fresh chopped parsley if using.
Cook’s Note: Crush the fennel seeds under the blade of your knife to open up the flavor.
What Goes with Roasted Chicken?
There are tons of different side dishes you can pair with garlic roasted chicken. Here are some of my favorite sides to serve mine with:
- Potatoes: Chicken and potatoes go together like a dream. These Crispy Smashed Potatoes are on a whole other level!
- Pasta Salad: Try serving your chicken alongside this fresh and healthy Caprese Pasta Salad.
- Green Beans: My easy Sauteed Green Beans are a tasty side dish you can whip up in 15 minutes. And they pair so well with this roasted chicken!
- Sweet Potato Fries: These crispy and delicious Sweet Potato Fries are another quick and easy side dish that tastes amazing with roasted chicken.
French Pot Roast Chicken
A heart-warming classic, French Pot Roast Chicken or ‘Poulet au Pot’ is a terrific recipe for beautifully juicy, tender chicken with flavoursome root vegetables and a rich gravy. As a bonus, it's all cooked in one pot so less washing up!
- 1.4 kg whole chicken
- 1 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 shallots or small red onions, peeled and quartered from root to tip
- 3 carrots, sliced thickly on the diagonal
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 100 g mushrooms
- 100 g bacon or prosciutto, diced
- 500 g small potatoes, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme or small bunch fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped if fresh
- 125 ml chicken stock
- 125 ml white wine
- 1 small lemon
- sea salt & pepper
Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Rub the chicken all over with the butter, then season well with salt and pepper, inside and out. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish (see notes). Add the shallots, carrots, celery, mushrooms and bacon and cook over high heat until the vegetables start to soften and brown, around 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic, bay leaves and thyme or rosemary to the pot. Stir to coat in the oil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken stock and white wine into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned on flavour on the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat.
Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, tucking the wings underneath the body. Squeeze over the lemon, dropping the halves into the pot. Cover with a tightly fitting lid (see note) then roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes, removing the lid for the last 20 minutes so the chicken gets nice and golden brown.
When the chicken is done (you can check the temperature with a thermometer if you like, it should be 75°C of 165°F measured from the thickest part of the thigh), remove the pot from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Either remove the chicken to a warmed serving platter to slice and serve, or slice directly in the pot. Divide the chicken, vegetables and gravy between warmed plates and enjoy.
I use a large, oval enamelled cast-iron casserole dish that I picked up years ago. If you have a Le Creuset style pot, use that, otherwise, any heavy-based, oven-proof casserole dish with a lid will do.If the lid isn’t tightly fitting, scrunch up a piece of baking paper, dampen it a little, then unfold it and place it between the lid and the pot to create a seal. If you don’t have a lid at all use a double layer of tinfoil.
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
Roasted Chicken with Carrots, Fennel, and Onion
It was another cold and rainy day here in Portland so I decided to roast a chicken. I didn’t want anything fancy… just simple comfort food. I found this recipe for a perfect roasted chicken by Ina Garten and decided to make it. I adapted it a bit by excluding the butter because I wanted to keep it a little lower in fat. I loved the flavor of the roasted carrots, onion, and fennel and the chicken turned out extremely moist, tender, and delicious. This is definitely a great recipe for roasted chicken – I am looking forward to making it again.
- 1 5lb chicken
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Garlic powder, to taste
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- Several sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 head of garlic, cut in half crosswise
- 4-5 carrots, peeled and cut in half
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, thickly sliced
- 1/4 red onion, thickly sliced
- Fennel, tops removed and cut into wedges
- Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove chicken giblets out of the cavity and rinse the chicken. Pat dry then coat the chicken with olive oil cooking spray then season with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and garlic powder, to taste, all over the bird.
Place the lemon halves, all of the garlic, and a handful of fresh thyme into the cavity. Place the bird on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Place the carrots, onion, and fennel in the roasting pan along with a few sprigs of thyme, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Drizzle some olive oil on top of the veggies and toss to coat evenly.
Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone. Place the chicken into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the temperature reaches 180 degrees. Remove the chicken from the oven and let the bird rest with a tin foil tent for at least five to ten minutes before carving. Serve the chicken with the roasted vegetables. Enjoy.
Giveaway – CLOSED – WINNER ANNOUNCED:
Johnsonville wanted me to spread word about a recipe contest they are doing where three winners will share $15,000.00 in cash. It’s quick and easy for anyone to enter. Just start with any familiar recipe – or develop a new one and use Johnsonville Sweet, Mild, Hot, or Four Cheese Italian sausage, instead of ground beef, chicken, or another protein. For more information about the recipe contest, visit their site here. You can also visit their Facebook site here.
I will be giving away 4 coupons each good for 1 package of any flavor Johnsonville Fresh Italian Sausage. I will pick two winners who will each receive two coupons. All you have to do to win is leave a comment on this post. If you don’t have a blog, please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you are chosen. I will announce the winners on Monday. Good luck!
Chicken and Fennel Stew for the Cold Weather
Since the weather is still cold out there, stews are still very much an “in” thing at our house. Come to think of it, stews are always welcomed at our house. They are so comforting and go really well with rice. I like to add lots of vegetables to the stew so that it becomes a complete one-pot meal perfect for week nights.
Not all stews need to be cooked for hours, especially if boneless and skinless chicken is used. This Chicken and Fennel Stew is a relatively quick one to prepare. A it delicious and comforting one-pot wonder with protein and vegetables. Both the carrots and fennel are tender but not falling apart. The fennel lends a delicious sweetness and aroma to the stew.