Cast Iron Chicken

Ok, there are millions of recipes for the best roast chicken, I know. But let me explain. We are farmers! We are farmers who really love food. During our summer growing season when the chicken is flowing, we eat chicken often. We experiment with all different kinds of cooking methods. Roasted, broiled, grilled, smoked, spatchcocked (spatch a what you say? read more here), trust me — we’ve tried ’em all.

Our opinion on the best ever roast chicken comes after many a taste test. Really, a Timberfeast chicken is always delicious (because our practices create a way better tasting chicken: pasture raised, super fresh feed and air-chilled processing) but there are a few key steps to making it the best ever. Read on.

**Pro chef tip: Josh Skenes of Saison suggests keeping your chicken in the fridge for 1 week before cooking, as almost all poultry is wet-packed and doesn’t roast properly. This does not apply to Timberfeast birds because we have the upgraded processing of AIR-CHILLED chickens which have no net-retained water at all. End result = juicy insides, super crispy skin, best chicken ever.

You will need:

1- Timberfeast pastured whole chicken
2 -tablespoons butter, ghee, or chicken fat (from inside the bird)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Probe thermometer

Cast iron skillet

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Let your whole chicken rest on the counter for 45-60 minutes to temper.

3. Dry the chicken completely with paper towels. You don’t want the chicken to steam in the oven, so get her nice and dry.

4. Season the inside with salt and pepper.

5. Put one tablespoon of ghee/butter under the skin over each breast. Do this by loosening the skin at the top of the cavity, then work your index and middle fingers underneath, and spread them. Tuck the pats of butter under there.

6. If you want to be like a fancy French chef, cut or poke little holes in the back fat flaps, then stick the legs through, crossing them. Instant chicken truss!
truss-chicken-or-any-other-whole-bird-with-without-any-string-twine.w654
7. Now that you feel like Julia Child (just me?), go ahead and place the bird in the cast-iron skillet breast side up. Sprinkle sea salt down all over your bird, using more than you think you should. This ensures a crispy skin. Famous chef Thomas Keller likes the grains of salt to be visible on the skin when it’s served. Also add a little pepper.

8. Stick your thermometer probe into the top of the crease made by the drumstick  and put the chicken in the pre-heated oven. Leave it in there, trying not to disturb it too often, until the probe hits 165 degrees.

9. When it’s done, take it out of the oven and move to another platter so it doesn’t continue to cook. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes uncovered.

10. Devour!