This Weeknight Roast Chicken is simple and so delicious! Just a few basic ingredients and a easy method produce crispy skin and juicy meat.
This recipe comes from America's Test Kitchen- my favorite source for great recipes. I love watching their show and reading their cookbooks or magazines. They test recipes multiple times in different ways to come up with the best result. Most of the recipes aren't paleo, but some are or can easily be made paleo with a few small adjustments. I get inspiration from everywhere though, even non-paleo recipes.
This chicken is pretty simple with no special ingredients. What makes it different is the cooking method. A pan in preheated in the oven while the chicken is prepared, then cooked at a high temp for half the time, then the oven is turned off to finish the cooking. I love this idea- what it does is sear the chicken that touches the pan and makes the skin on top crispy too.
The only thing I changed about this recipe was I put some of the oil and salt under the skin on the breast. I have done this for years and I love the result. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rest of the meal. Veggies, mashed cauliflower, whatever you want.
One thing that is important is a meat thermometer. It's the only way to make sure you're not overcooking your meat (or undercooking it). They are inexpensive and such a helpful item to keep on hand. I use mine all the time.
Here are the ingredients you'll need. Salt, pepper, oil, chicken (with giblets removed) and butchers twine. So simple. You'll want to place an oven safe pan in your oven and preheat it to 450° at this point. I used a cast iron skillet.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towel. This will help the skin crisp in the oven.
Rub the chicken with the oil, then the salt and pepper mixture. Really rub it in good and get it under the skin on the breast. Use your fingers and gently get in-between the skin and breast meat. This helps flavor the meat itself. At this point you will put it in the pan that has been preheating in the oven. Pull out the rack that the pan is sitting on and place the chicken breast side up. Cook until the breast temp is 120°- about 20-25 minutes. Then turn the oven off and keep cooking until the breast reads 160°- about 20-25 minutes. Take the chicken out and let it rest. While it's resting, make the pan sauce.
This is the best way to cut the chicken. That way every slice has a piece of skin. Just use a knife and cut along the breast bone, then cut it down along the leg and on the under side.
Remove the breast and slice. It is so juicy it doesn't need any sauce- it's delicious either way.
Pour the pan sauce over and enjoy. That pan sauce is so good!
You will love the ease of this recipe. It's fancy enough for company, but easy enough for a weeknight meal.
Weeknight Roast Chicken
- 1 whole chicken 3 ½-4 pounds (giblets removed)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt I use Real Salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Place oven-safe skillet in the oven and preheat it to 450°. I used a cast iron skillet.
- Combine salt and pepper in a bowl.
- Pat chicken with paper towel until completely dry. Rub oil all over it until it's completely covered. Sprinkle the salt mixture all over and rub in with your hands. Gently separate the skin from the breast and rub the seasonings under there as well.
- Tie the legs together with the twine and tuck the wings under the back.
- Place in the preheated pan and cook until the breast is 120°- about 20-25 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and keep cooking until the breast is 160° and the legs are 175°- about 25-35 minutes.
- Remove from pan and let rest 20 minutes.
For the pan sauce:
- While the chicken rests, remove all but 1 tablespoon on fat from the pan (I didn't remove any because there wasn't much).
- Place skillet over medium-high heat and add onion. Cook until it is softened- about 3-4 minutes.
- Add broth and mustard and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Simmer until sauce is reduced to ¾ cup- about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in tarragon, lemon juice and ghee. Serve over chicken.