Cast Iron Crisp Roast Butterflied Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic
Why This Recipe Works
A butterflied chicken cooks considerably quicker than a traditional whole bird. Flattening the chicken also encourages crisp skin, since most of the skin is in contact with the hot pan. Achieving crisp skin is even easier with a cast-iron skillet, because the pan is able to maintain very high cooking temperatures. However, during our testing we found that after initially crisping up, the skin turned soggy as the chicken continued to cook skin side down in its own juices. We set out to produce perfectly cooked chicken with crisp skin that could be on the table in less than an hour. We started by heating a skillet in a very hot oven. We then put the chicken into the preheated skillet skin side down and cooked it until the skin was golden brown. Flipping the chicken over for the remainder of the cooking time allowed us to take advantage of the hot, dry air of the oven to ensure that the skin remained crisp and intact. A simple mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, rosemary, and garlic brushed on the chicken during roasting elevated the flavor and crisped the skin further. We had four-star, perfectly browned roast chicken with spectacular skin on the table in under an hour, thanks to the great heat retention of the cast-iron skillet; and as a bonus, the butterflied bird was a cinch to carve.