Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chicken in a Skillet: the faster way to a roast chicken dinner

I've been keeping a secret. Well not just a secret, a lot of secrets actually. Don't take it personally. I blame the wedding, which you will get to hear about in full detail coming up in the next few weeks!!!! GET EXCITED. I am. Can you tell?

But back to my secret, I was flipping through my iphone and instagram pics and realized that I've had some cooking (and life) successes over the last few months, and I feel that I would be doing a disservice to the public if I did not share them.

For example:

My Halloween custom. Success. Of the life variety of successes. (Penny sure thinks so.)

Ok, Ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration... But it's an excellent lead in to chicken in a skillet!

Well, actually, it doesn't have much at all to do with chicken in a skillet, except that I made this chicken in a skillet on Halloween night. 

And if I have to subject you to a photo of me in a half ass Halloween costume and my dog in an awesome one in order to give you this secret to moist, delicious, easy, and quick roast chicken, then consider yourself lucky.

Favorite thing about this "recipe" is that not only is it easy, it produces a moist roast chicken in less time than the normal oven-on-350-degrees method. But before we even get to the chicken, let me wax poetic about the carrots. Oh, the carrots. Tender and crispy coated in butter and chicken drippings carrots. Carrots that melt in your mouth but also have a crispy burnt crust. Carrots that make you think, I may never eat another french fry again if only I could have these carrots everyday. That last line is a direct quote from my husband. Except that what he really said was, "Hmmm, these are like carrot french fries. Pretty good."

The secret is the hot skillet. Piping, make-sure-you-wear-seriously-thick-oven-mitts-hot skillet. So break out your old cast iron and heat up that oven, it's chicken time. And make sure you stuff as many carrots around that bird as humanely possible. 

You can thank me later. Or in the comments below.

Chicken in a Skillet
adapted from Mark Bittman

1 whole chicken 
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 - 4 tbs butter
4 - 6 cloves garlic, peeled
carrots, as many as you think you can fit, peeled and cut in half

Using paper towel apply a layer of olive oil to the bottom of a large cast iron pan. Place pan in oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Wash chicken and pat completely dry. Rub chicken with olive oil and season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Using a knife pull skin away from meat and place 4 pats of butter under the skin over the breasts.

When oven is heated, 10 to 15 minutes, use oven mitts to take skillet out of the oven. Carefully place the chicken, breast side up, in the hot skillet. Place a pat of butter on top of the chicken. Nestle as many carrots as you can fit and the garlic next to the chicken. Place chicken in oven and cook undisturbed for 40 to 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers at 155 - 165 degrees in the thigh and the juices run clear. My 4 to 5 pound chicken took 55 minutes. If you need to cook the chicken for longer than 55 minutes you may need to remove the carrots, but unless your chicken is abnormally large, max 55 minutes should do the trick.


Love, Luck, and Happiness!


  1. A few things...
    Chicken in a skillet. Game changer.Yum.
    Your Halloween costume, ABSOLUTE life success. I dressed up as a grumpy version of myself who over-dossed on peanut butter cups. Truth. Your costume looks like more fun.
    Your dogs costume is fantastic. My biggest Halloween regret is that I didn't get Emma a costume, or put my cat in a bow tie. :)

    1. OH you have to put Emma in a costume! Maybe for Christmas? And a cat in a bow tie. I die. that should be an everyday occurrence.

  2. Hahah love how you led up to the chicken in a skillet recipe- and your jack o lanterns are super cute! I never ever thought it'd be possible to roast a whole chicken in a skillet. My lazy and limited cooking abilities just got completely reshuffled. Mind. blown.

    1. Aww thanks! You definitely have to try this chicken in a skillet. It's so simple and good!

  3. That chicken looks so yummy! I've never tried cooking a chicken in a skillet but I am definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing Michelle!



    Southern (California) Belle


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