Roasting Chicken Perfectly

Posted on 19 Nov 2014

Poultry Dilemmas

There’s a dilemma when cooking a whole chicken. If you were to cook the white meat as well as you cook the dark meat it would be underdone and if you were to cook the dark meat until it was done, you would end up with overcooked (dry) white meat.

The solution is to have the dark meat cook quicker than the white meat (while it is still attached). The method for this, you’ll see, is really very simple and yields a great roast chicken as well.

Things You’ll Need

Ingredient Notes
a whole chicken
butter or olive oil or some other fat
salt & pepper plus any other herbs, spices, aromatics, etc. that you like.
a cast iron skillet


After this, you should have a nicely cooked bird with crispy golden skin on both sides, and with both the white and the dark meat cooked perfectly; the dark meat should be fully cooked and the white meat would be very slightly pink and glistening, which is what we want.

The placing of the chicken directly onto the blistering pan achieves two things:

  1. It starts cooking the dark meat of the thighs and back right away. Since it takes longer for the dark meat to cook, this gets it ahead of the white meat so when the chicken is finished cooking they both with be cooked perfectly.
  2. The direct contact also helps render the fat in the chicken and this helps brown the entire bottom.

I personally throw in a few garlic cloves with the chicken that roast nicely & are a great addition to a sauce/gravy –if you deglaze the pan with a chicken stock slurry* (plus salt & pepper), for instance.

*a solution of the cold liquid with a starch, like flour

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