Cast Iron Roasted Chicken

I love cooking, but every now again, I like a dish that will last all week so I don't have to worry about dinner every night. Insert this Cast Iron Roasted Chicken. 

For the longest time, I was intimidated by roasting an entire chicken. It seemed daunting and challenging, but after I finally cooked one, I realized it is one of the easiest and most versatile dishes you could make. There are million and one things you could do with a chicken and a million and two ways to season it. I roasted this chicken in my cast iron seasoned with classic ingredients with a few twists. This bird was juicy, crispy and may not last past day two. Details below:

Ingredients

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  • 1 Whole chicken
  • Salt, Pepper & Herbs de Provence
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Lemons
  • 5 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • Brine
    • 1 gallon of water
    • 3/4 cup of salt
    • 2/3 cup of sugar
    • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
    • 2 TBSP of olive oil
    • 2 TBSP of sesame oil
    • 1 TBSP of liquid smoke

Instructions

Bring water to a boil and mix brine ingredients. It is important to have warm water as sugar does not dissolve in cold water.

Once the ingredients have mixed together, cool the brine down by putting the mix in the freezer for about 40 minutes. The last thing you want to do is add hot water to raw chicken, especially if you're not cooking it right away. Vina's Note: The brine could be created the day before so that it has completely cooled. 

After the brine has cooled, add to chicken in a large roaster bag in another large pot, enough to cover chicken. Let brine for at least 3-4 hours or up to 24 hours. I had a smaller chicken, so mine only got about 3 hours of brining. 

3 hours later, dump brine and rinse chicken. Pat chicken down with paper towels to get the chicken really dry which will cause the skin to be crispy. 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and season your cast iron. If you're unsure how to do this, here's a great tutorial here. 

Slather bird (yes, slather) with a little olive oil and season with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Season the inside of the bird with salt and then stuff the bird with garlic, one lemon (cut in half) and 3 sprigs of rosemary. 

Tie the legs of your your chicken up and tuck the wings behind it's self so they don't burn. Vina's Note: You could properly truss your chicken if you want. I personally do not know how and this way has been working fine for me. Place the chicken on the cast iron skillet with aromatics (1 lemon, 2 sprigs of rosemary and coarsely chopped onions), you should hear your chicken sizzling. 

Slide chicken in oven until the chicken's internal temperature registers between 155 to 160 degrees, basting about every 30 minutes. Vina's Note: A chicken is fully cooked at 165, however will still continue to cook while resting out of the oven. This took me about an hour and a half for me to achieve. Every oven is different so at thermometer is the sure fire way to get a perfectly cooked chicken.  

Slice, pair with sides, and enjoy!