The next time around, I halved the breasts crosswise, separating the thinner tapered ends from the thicker broad ends so that I could add the thin pieces to the pot last. I also brined the chicken before cooking. Meat destined for braising is not typically brined, but this unorthodox step greatly improved the white meat, keeping it moist and tender, and offered extra insurance that the thighs stay moist.
It took a few tries to find the final order of operations, but I eventually came up with the following routine: Give the dark meat an 8-minute head start, nestle the broad ends of the breasts into the pot skin side down, flip them 5 minutes later (I found that they needed to cook on both sides since they were so thick), and finally, add the tapered ends. (Try as I might, I couldn’t prevent the tapered ends from overcooking if I browned their skin, so I left them unbrowned.) Finally, I covered the pot and transferred it to a 300-degree oven, where the enveloping heat finished cooking the chicken at a bare simmer. After roughly 20 more minutes, all three cuts of chicken were as tender and juicy as could be.
The only thing that remained was to give the sauce some oomph. Whole-grain mustard, fresh parsley, and lemon juice perked things up. The recipe was easily adaptable by swapping out the mustard and herbs for other ingredients, such as tomato and basil for a Mediterranean version. These recipes will remind you why this technique is a classic.
Start Free Trial
10,000+ foolproof recipes and why they work Taste Tests of supermarket ingredients Equipment Reviews save you money and time Videos including full episodes and clips Live Q&A with Test Kitchen experts
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.