How to make a Perfectly Roasted Chicken Every Time
Do you keep trying to get that perfectly roasted chicken, but it never comes out the same way twice? It’s either underdone in parts, or the whole thing is dry and tasteless! Inspired by America’s Test Kitchen, this new technique of preheating the skillet in the oven makes all the difference. By searing the bottom and giving the dark meat a head start, you ensure the white meat isn’t overcooked and everything finishes at the same time.
3 1/2 – 4 pound chicken
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 recipe pan sauce (recipe follows)
Cast iron or heavy, oven proof skillet
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Place your skillet on the rack in the cold oven and then set the oven to 450 degrees.
While the oven heats, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub into the skin. Tuck the wings under the back, and tie the legs together with the twine.
Once the oven has come to temperature, transfer the chicken, breast side up, to the preheated skillet in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast reads 120 degrees and the thickest part of the thigh is 135 degrees on an instant read thermometer. This will probably take 25 – 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven, and let the chicken sit in the oven for an additional 25-30 minutes. The breast should be at 160 and the thighs 175. Remove from the oven, transfer to a cutting board and rest, uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve with pan sauce.
Lemon Tarragon pan sauce
1 medium shallot minced
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Ground black pepper
While the chicken rests, remove all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet. Leave any browned bits in the skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat, add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and the mustard, scraping the bottom of the skillet to loosen any of the browned bits. Cook until reduced by half, about 3 to 5 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, tarragon and lemon juice. Season with the black pepper. Cover and keep warm.