Cast-Iron Roast Chicken, has deliciously crisp skin, with flavor-packed, tender, and juicy meat. This main-dish crispy roasted whole chicken is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but it's also fancy enough for company or a special occasion!
Remove the chicken giblets and pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels.
Place the chicken in a well-seasoned 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet or a shallow baking dish. (If you use a baking dish, spray the dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Take the handle of a wooden spoon and gently loosen the skin on the breast so you can spread the butter under the skin.
Take about half of the softened butter and use your fingers to insert it under the breast skin. Spread the remaining butter out evenly over the rest of the chicken.
Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper inside and on the outside of the chicken. I know this seems like a lot of salt, but trust me you need it.
Put a lemon which has been quartered, 2-3 cloves of peeled garlic and 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity of the chicken.
Tuck the wing tips under the chicken and truss (tie together) the legs with kitchen string.
Roast the chicken for about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes for a 4 1/2 pound chicken, or until it is browned and has reached 165 degrees. To test for the temperature, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh being careful not to touch the bone. A larger chicken will require more time, a smaller one, a little less time.
Once the chicken has reached 165 degrees, remove it from the oven and immediately tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
To serve, garnish with lemon slices and rosemary or parsley.
Sharon's Expert Tips:If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, you can use a regular baking pan or dish to roast the chicken. Be sure to spray it with non-stick cooking spray first. If you use a glass dish, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. I used rosemary in this recipe and it's my favorite, but feel free to experiment with adding other herbs. Thyme would be a good choice as would tarragon. I know you are tired of me saying this, but if you don't have one, please get a good meat thermometer. It will make all of the difference in the world. If you have never trussed a chicken (which is really just tying the legs together) check out this how-to video. Trussing ensures that the chicken cooks evenly.