Cast Iron Baked Chicken
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Could a cast-iron skillet help our pursuit of juicy meat and lovely brown skin?
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
In the pursuit of roast chicken with juicy meat and lovely browned skin that we could make on a weeknight, we turned to the cast-iron skillet, which retains heat well and, once hot, distributes that heat evenly across the skillet's surface.... Read More
GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
Our favorite cast-iron skillet is the Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12". Note that the cast-iron skillet should be preheated along with the oven; this is key to getting crispy, well-browned skin. You will not achieve the same type of browning with a conventional skillet. A 4-pound whole chicken will yield the 3 pounds of parts called for in the recipe. Our favorite paprika is The Spice House Hungarian Sweet Paprika.
Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch cast-iron skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder, and granulated garlic in bowl. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle all over with spice mixture.
When oven is heated, carefully remove hot skillet. Add butter, let it melt, and add thyme sprigs. Place chicken in skillet skin side down, pushing thyme sprigs aside as needed. Transfer skillet to oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven and flip chicken. Return skillet to oven and bake until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register at least 175 degrees, about 15 minutes longer.
Let chicken rest in skillet for 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter and spoon pan juices over top. Serve.