Orange and Rosemary Skillet Roasted Chicken | Cooking Basics

Orange and Rosemary Skillet Roasted Chicken by Cook Smarts

The convenience of purchasing a rotisserie chicken, often for under $8.00, at the grocery store has likely reduced the number of households that actually roast chicken on a regular basis or at all. Don’t get me wrong; I love the convenience of rotisserie chicken and have made some great dishes with a store-bought chicken. But there’s something so June Cleaver, rustic, homey about doing it yourself at least some of the time. Plus, homemade roasted chicken has a few benefits:

  • It’ll make your house smell damn good. I’ve always wondered why Glade hasn’t come out with a roasted chicken scent. I’m sure you’ve had the same thought, no?
  • If you’re concerned about organic / non-organic, free-range or not, roasting your own chicken is one way to control those preferences to a certain degree
  • It fulfills the romantic image of one taking a roasted chicken out of the oven and setting it on the table to the oohs and ahhs of an eager and hungry crowd (That’s a common fantasy, right?)
  • Roasting your own chicken is like perfume shopping. You get to select a fragrance that fits your mood and personality

It’s taken me a few years to find my signature roast chicken scent but after lots of experimentation, I’ve settled on orange and rosemary. However, you can roast your chicken with whatever aromatics and seasoning you’d like. Take the recipe below as the cooking formula for roasting chicken. Definitely try the orange and rosemary combination but don’t feel restricted by it. Try other ingredients such as lemon, thyme, sage, oregano, kaffir lime leaves, soy sauce, ginger, curry even.

Aside from experimenting with flavors, I’ve also experimented with various techniques to yield the most evenly cooked chicken. Anyone that has roasted a chicken has dealt with the challenge of having your breasts cook before the thighs are done, leading to dry and bland white meat. Hands down Cooks Illustrated technique for weeknight roasted chicken using a pre-heated skillet always yielded the best results. I highly recommend you get your own subscription to CooksIllustrated.com (it truly is the best resource for home cooks), but just this once, I’ll share a few of their secrets with you in the roasted chicken recipe and how-to video below.

Orange and Rosemary Skillet Roasted Chicken 2 by Cook Smarts

Orange and Rosemary Skillet Roast Chicken | Cooking Basics
 
Serves: 6 to 8
Ingredients - Roast Chicken
  • White onion, small - 1
  • Garlic cloves - 3 to 4
  • Orange - 1
  • Whole chicken - 1 3 to 4 lb.
  • Kosher salt - 1.5 tbs.
  • Ground pepper - ½ tbs.
  • Rosemary - 1 sprig
  • Butter - 2 tbs.
  • Kitchen twine - >1 foot
Ingredients - Roasted Vegetables
  • Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves
  • Rosemary - 1 sprig
  • Russet potatoes - ½ lb.
  • Carrots - ½ lb.
  • Parsnips - ½ lb.
Prep
  1. Onion - Quarter
  2. Garlic cloves (all) - Peel
  3. Orange - Quarter
  4. Potatoes, carrots, and parsnips - Peel and chop into bite-sized pieces
Make
  1. Position oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees with a 10" to 12" cast iron skillet inside
  2. Remove innards from your chicken (you can save them for stock). Place the bird in a bowl and pat it dry with a paper towel. Mix together your salt and pepper and season the entire bird - inside the cavity, on the skin, in between the skin and meat
  3. Melt butter in microwave (~45 seconds should do it)
  4. Place quartered onion, 3 to 4 garlic cloves, quartered orange, and rosemary sprig inside the cavity of the bird
  5. Tie the legs of the bird together (see video for a full demo)
  6. Take skillet out of oven
  7. Place the bird breast-side up in the middle of the skillet
  8. Baste the bird with your melted butter
  9. Place chopped vegetables with remaining peeled garlic cloves and around the bird. Break up your rosemary and nestle it between vegetables
  10. Give it all one final flourish of salt and then place in the oven
  11. Cook at 450 for ~30 minutes and then turn off oven
  12. Leave bird in the oven for another 25 to 35 minutes. Chicken is done when it reaches 160 degrees
  13. Remove it from pan and let it rest for 20 minutes on a carving board before carving
  14. Toss the roasted vegetables in the chicken juice and give them a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Serve with your beautiful and fragrant roast chicken. I call the dark meat!
Smarts
  1. After all the meat is carved up, save the carcass and place it with giblets / innards into a stock pot. Fill with water, an onion, 2 carrots, and 1 stalk of celery. Boil and simmer for about 1.5 hours. You now have homemade chicken stock
  2. Cook's Illustrated method gives you even cooking because the hot skillet helps to give the dark meat a head start in cooking. Dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat so by placing it on the hot skillet, the cooking process starts immediately and ends up being cooked at the same time with the breasts
  3. For a family of four, roast chicken can usually stretch over 2 meals. Serve as is or use the meat in tacos, soup, or a rice dish

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Go Tiffany! I hope you find the process simple and put it in your repertoire. Look for chicken on sale and you can stock up. And of course, it’s always fun to find ways to repurpose the leftovers!

  2. Bree says

    I made this last week! The prep work took longer than I thought, but it was really nice to just throw it in the oven and be able to go sit down. My chicken was a tad larger than you suggested, but it needed a good bit of additional cook time. Do you have a formula for figuring out how to adjust cook time for the size of your chicken? Also, I followed your direction to salt generously, but it turns out I’m a little too giving, and some parts were too salty! Lessons I learned for next time! :)

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