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May 10, 2012 / beatricebunny

Roasted Chicken and Pancakes

Cooking is often about using the right tool for the job.  A couple of weekends ago, a friend came and stayed with us.  Saturday morning, I made pancakes.  Frankly, I was embarrassed by how badly they came out.  I had gotten the idea to make the pancakes in my iron skillet, and it simply did not work as well as my usual pan.  Generally, I think I make very good pancakes – light, fluffy, with a little gold.  These were heavy and overly brown – blackened really.  I made no changes to my standard pancake batter (a recipe adapted from the Nancy Drew Cookbook), so the only difference was going from a Calphalon skillet to an iron skillet.  It’s not a mistake I will make again.

However, for my favorite roast chicken recipe, only the iron skillet will do.  The technique is constant, though the flavors change with my mood.  I pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees with the rack centered in the middle.  About 5 minutes into the pre-heating process, I put the iron skillet into the over and let it heat for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, I prep a chicken (usually one from Peaceful Pastures, a local farm).  I bring the chicken up to room temperature (usually about 30 minutes sitting out).   Then I prepare my dry seasoning mixture – tonight it was Chili Verde infused salt, thyme, cumin, cayenne pepper, and coriander.  Last time it was salt, rosemary, garlic, and pepper.  Really, whatever dried spices I am in the mood for.  If I have them on hand, I put onion and garlic in the cavity of the bird.  If I am using bay, the fresh bay leaves also go in the body.  Once the skillet is hot, I pull it back out, and put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up.  If I’m putting onion, etc in the body, then I tie up the legs, otherwise, I just pop it in the oven.  The bird cooks 50 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes depending on its size and the amount of fat.  I leave it completely untouched for 50 minutes, then check it from time to time.

Once done, I let it rest on the stove top for a few minutes in the pan and then move it to a platter.  Pan juices are available at that point for further use.  Tonight, I cooked swiss chard and spinach in the juices.  Last time, I made a rather decadent mushroom gravy.

The chicken is simple, versatile, and delicious.  It’s definitely a standard recipe in our house.

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2 Comments

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  1. amber / May 10 2012 2:13 am

    Give your self credit for Sunday breakfast!! That chicken recipe sounds delicious! Im totally doing that!

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