Friday, August 23, 2013
Lamenting to a friend on my summertime roasted chicken hiatus, I was reminded of methods which cut roasting time in half, thus sparing an uncooled house multiple hours of cranking heat. Her professional chef mother-in-law butterflies then sears whole birds in a hot buttery cast iron skillet before placing it in the oven. This method cuts whole-bird roasting time by about half. But the best part is this: after the chicken is removed from the skillet, the juices can be made into a silky stove top gravy in as much time as it takes to allow your wine to breathe.
Butterflied Cast Iron Skillet Chicken:
Begin with a very fresh, pastured chicken. Rinse and pat dry. Place on a work surface, breast side down. Remove spine with kitchen shears or a very sharp knife by making a lateral cut along the spine, then repeat on opposite side until spine is cut free from rib bones. Season liberally with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and favorite herbs.
Place 3 tablespoons butter a large cast iron skillet over med-high heat. Sear both sides of the butterflied chicken until well browned, about 5 minutes total. Place skillet in oven and roast until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees in thickest part of breast without touching bone.
Remove from heat and transfer chicken onto a cutting surface. Allow to rest while you make your gravy with pan drippings.