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Food & Recipes

This ‘Lazy’ Roast Chicken Only Needs 2 Ingredients and a Cast Iron Skillet

Take the guesswork out of making roasted chicken.

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Like many busy home cooks, I make “no-frills dishes” on a consistent basis. Why? Because these meals require a few ingredients, yet they deliver on mouthwatering flavors. Plus, if I’m able to prepare them in an hour or less that’s a real bonus. One hassle-free meal that’s a weekly staple in my household is roasted chicken. This dish is not only hearty and comforting, but it offers everyone’s favorite part of the meat in one go. Despite some roasted chicken recipes requiring a plethora of seasonings and two hours or more to cook, others aren’t as daunting. In fact, I’ve recently found a two-ingredient roast chicken recipe that cooks in half the time using a cast iron skillet. Here’s how to roast a whole chicken to crispy and juicy perfection with very little effort.

The Rundown on Roasted Chicken

The number of ways to prepare roasted chicken are endless. From spatchcocking (or butterflying) the meat to marinating it, chicken is a blank canvas for your tastebuds to get creative. Still, simplicity shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to this classic dish. According to chef Emily Baird, the tastiest roasted chicken only needs the meat and salt. Sure, it may seem like salt alone isn’t enough to produce a delicious bird — but it actually is.

Salt seasons the meat and draws out moisture from skin, which helps it crisp up in the oven. You can use any type of salt for this cooking method. However, a Kosher salt such as Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (Buy a 48-ounce container from Walmart, $19) is a worthy option as the perfectly-sized flakes are easy to distribute and will stick to the chicken. Another key component to this type of roasted chicken is cooking it in a cast iron skillet. Since the skillet holds in heat, it allows the chicken to cook more thoroughly and evenly than a standard roasting pan. Using these tips, you’ll have a moist chicken with crackling skin that goes from oven to table in around an hour!

How To Make Cast Iron Skillet Roast Chicken

To make chef Baird’s Easy Sunday Roast Chicken, follow the steps below from her Instagram (@everythingyouwanttoeat):

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cleaned and patted dry 
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of salt

Directions:

  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 1 hour 
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with cast iron skillet inside.
  2. Sprinkle salt over and in chicken. Add chicken to hot skillet.
  3. Roast chicken in oven about an hour, or until thigh reaches minimum internal temperature 165 Fahrenheit. Let rest uncovered 15 minutes.
  4. You should get nice juice in pan to use as sauce. Add tablespoon or two of water to pan if needed. ⁣Carve chicken and serve on platter with pan juices. Enjoy!

My Taste Test

When preparing this recipe, the savory aroma of the chicken roasting in the oven filled my kitchen. This smell transported me back to childhood when my mom prepared roasted chicken on most Sundays after church. Allowing the chicken to rest was a test of patience, but it paid off as the piece of breast meat I tried was juicy and well-seasoned. This succulent white meat paired well with the golden brown chicken skin in all of its crunchy and salty glory. The pan juices had fragrant and caramelized bits of chicken, which tied all of the flavors together.

Overall, I really enjoyed this recipe. Sometimes it’s nice to have a roasted chicken that isn’t riddled with tons of garlic, rosemary, thyme, and the list goes on. All that’s needed is salt as it acts as a flavor enhancer rather than an overpowering seasoning. This way the poultry’s natural taste can shine through — no excess of ingredients needed.

Looking for other hassle-free dinner ideas to add to your weeknight roster? Read our stories on how to make “lazy” ravioli lasagna and speedy 30-minute enchiladas as they’re sure to become family favorites!

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