The author and cook, Heather

Cast Iron Roast Chicken with Garlic and Herbs

Poole's: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner

This is a pretty simple technique for cooking a chicken. It cooks so much faster in pieces! It's a good alternative to spatchcocking, since it's pretty easy to buy a chicken already quartered. (But spatchcocking a chicken isn't that hard, as long as you have a good pair of kitchen shears.)

It didn't work out very well for me, in that the skin was not crispy like I would prefer. It was still moist and delicious, but I would probably tweak the method a little the next time I make it. But it doesn't require any special equipment; cast iron is nice but you could use any oven-proof pan big enough for the chicken.

I found this recipe here, though the method described is a bit different, which seems like it would help my crispy-skin issue:

Serving Size1/4 recipe
Carbohydrates12g (10g sugar)


[00:00]: [Music]
[00:04]: hello and welcome to cooking the books
[00:06]: with heather
[00:07]: today we're going to be working out of
[00:09]: the pool's diner cookbook i have it here
[00:11]: just
[00:12]: for reference um and we're going to be
[00:14]: making
[00:16]: cast iron roast chicken with garlic and
[00:19]: herbs now
[00:20]: um i haven't made this previously but my
[00:22]: husband did make this for me
[00:24]: so
[00:27]: i about to say i guess it should be easy
[00:29]: but i should be able to do this
[00:31]: however there's one step that he didn't
[00:34]: do
[00:34]: i'm fairly certain but i'm gonna have to
[00:36]: do he bought a whole chicken
[00:39]: he was gonna smoke it and uh and and do
[00:42]: it that way and then we said oh let's do
[00:44]: a
[00:44]: recipe from the book even though we're
[00:46]: already doing two recipes this weekend
[00:48]: so
[00:50]: here we go the first step um
[00:53]: before i cut up the chicken
[00:57]: is to make a brine this is
[00:60]: for this brine we have um half of the
[01:02]: water in here
[01:04]: not super cold just from the tap and we
[01:07]: have
[01:08]: it's a two-part salt mine's been sitting
[01:10]: out for a little bit
[01:11]: two parts salt and one part sugar
[01:18]: and i'm just gonna stir this until
[01:21]: it um it's all dissolved in here
[01:25]: uh the rest of the water i it's also
[01:28]: cold from the tap but i went ahead and
[01:31]: put in some ice cubes to kind of keep it
[01:34]: cold
[01:35]: because our tap water right now it's
[01:36]: summer and our tap water is not very
[01:38]: cold and i just don't want the chicken
[01:40]: you know to get too warm
[01:49]: and she does say to do this in a pot
[01:53]: and honestly that's like the only thing
[01:56]: i have that
[01:59]: will probably hold it without sloshing
[02:01]: when i put it in the refrigerator so
[02:03]: i decided that was a good idea i
[02:05]: couldn't think of anything else
[02:07]: and i have already made room in my
[02:09]: refrigerator for this pot so
[02:12]: all right i think it's all starting to
[02:14]: look kind of clear now
[02:16]: and i'm going to add the rest of the
[02:18]: water
[02:18]: [Music]
[02:20]: with the ice cubes
[02:24]: all right that
[02:27]: is our brine no other flavors just salt
[02:30]: and sugar and i will be right back to
[02:34]: cut up a chicken
[02:36]: we have our chicken it's about twice the
[02:39]: size
[02:40]: of the chicken she recommends but that's
[02:43]: what we have so that's what we're gonna
[02:44]: do
[02:44]: this um this should be fine uh it
[02:47]: doesn't really matter
[02:48]: it's the percent solution that matters
[02:51]: not really
[02:52]: how much salt to chicken i think as long
[02:54]: as it covers it it'll be fine
[02:56]: i'm gonna take out it's a roasting
[02:57]: chicken it comes with this little
[02:59]: useless pop-up timer thing i'm gonna
[03:02]: take that out first
[03:04]: and okay i have never done this before i
[03:08]: have spatchcocked a chicken
[03:09]: i have um
[03:13]: i often cut off cut up wings and
[03:17]: i've even deboned a chicken thigh
[03:20]: but this is my first time doing this so
[03:24]: i watched a video and we're gonna try to
[03:27]: to do this so the first step is to
[03:30]: make a little cut here in the skin
[03:34]: so you can see
[03:37]: where the uh
[03:40]: thigh ends and that seems to be
[03:44]: right there and then just sort of
[03:47]: make oh that's right i think i'm
[03:51]: supposed to pop the bone i should have
[03:52]: watched this video
[03:54]: there we go and then you cut near the
[03:55]: bone that's it i should have watched the
[03:57]: video
[03:58]: more recently okay so there you can kind
[04:00]: of see the thigh bone and then you cut
[04:02]: there
[04:04]: and we have a chicken thought
[04:08]: now thigh and leg quarter now um
[04:11]: you can buy this you can buy a chicken
[04:14]: cut up like this or you can go to the
[04:15]: butcher counter and have them cut one up
[04:17]: like this but
[04:18]: i said this is what we have so i'm going
[04:20]: to just put this in here
[04:23]: and do the other side
[04:37]: if you're squeamish this is not for you
[04:48]: that's a long time
[05:09]: foreign my knife is not super sharp
[05:12]: but okay there's the other
[05:17]: leg quarter now the video i watched she
[05:19]: took the wings off but we're not going
[05:21]: to do that
[05:22]: but i am going to go ahead and cut off
[05:23]: the tips which
[05:25]: um ashley says to do
[05:29]: i don't usually bother doing it
[05:32]: perfectly when i'm just
[05:33]: cutting it up for um chicken wings but
[05:38]: so i don't really care if there's a
[05:40]: little bit
[05:42]: bone left there we go and the good part
[05:44]: about having your own
[05:45]: whole chicken is you get a whole
[05:47]: backbone that you can um
[05:50]: use to make stock back so we're going to
[05:52]: use the wing tips and the backbone and
[05:55]: and the neck bone that's in the little
[05:56]: baggie i left out the livers because
[05:58]: they
[05:59]: cook really quickly um and kind of get
[06:04]: kind of make your stock super cloudy
[06:07]: it doesn't really taste bad in my
[06:08]: opinion even though i don't like livers
[06:10]: so
[06:13]: it doesn't make your doesn't make your
[06:15]: stock taste bad anyway
[06:17]: okay um so the next
[06:21]: step now you see
[06:25]: this fat line that is where i'm going to
[06:28]: cut here to
[06:32]: uh remove the backbone
[06:37]: if i do a good job anyway all right
[06:52]: there's a lot of bone and everything
[07:01]: you can um you can use scissors too
[07:03]: that's what i usually do
[07:05]: for uh
[07:08]: when i spatchcock a chicken i use
[07:10]: kitchen shears a lot
[07:11]: very helpful
[07:15]: all right and now just do the other
[07:19]: side the same way
[07:30]: all right let me get action shears in
[07:33]: there it's just easier
[07:37]: here we go so
[07:40]: this part is the backbone you can see
[07:42]: there's a lot of good meat
[07:43]: on there a lot of little bones that will
[07:46]: make really good stocks i'm going to put
[07:47]: that in my stockpot over here
[07:52]: and now
[07:54]: [Music]
[07:56]: if you make a little notch in this bone
[07:59]: in the middle
[08:01]: you can then turn it this way so you can
[08:04]: see
[08:05]: maybe break it yep
[08:08]: hear the bone break there and then it
[08:10]: kind of flattens
[08:12]: and then just cut along the middle
[08:24]: there's a bone in there there we go
[08:30]: and we have breast quarters
[08:35]: i'm going to trim a little bit of this
[08:38]: fat off a little bit
[08:39]: extra fat that's not really covering
[08:41]: meat
[08:43]: and put it in our brine
[08:52]: all right a little bit of bone came off
[08:54]: there
[08:55]: all right into the brine it goes
[08:58]: i am going to clean all this up
[09:02]: put this in my refrigerator probably
[09:04]: going to put a lid on it
[09:05]: um and we're going to wait 8
[09:09]: to 12 hours which is a bad time
[09:12]: for a home cook in my opinion uh
[09:16]: unless you get up early in the morning
[09:20]: and do this and then have it for dinner
[09:22]: or you stay up really really late at
[09:24]: night
[09:25]: and then have it like for lunch maybe
[09:27]: it's just the timing doesn't work out i
[09:29]: don't think it'll
[09:30]: hurt too much if you go longer than
[09:32]: eight to 12 hours
[09:34]: you probably want at least eight just to
[09:36]: get the meat
[09:37]: flavored well anyway with the brine
[09:40]: whatever eight to twelve hours we'll be
[09:43]: back
[09:44]: to cook our chicken see you in a minute
[09:48]: my chicken was in the brine in the
[09:50]: refrigerator for
[09:51]: almost six hours a pro no not six hours
[09:54]: almost eight hours
[09:56]: um you can go up to 12 according to the
[09:58]: recipe whatever
[09:59]: i have my oven on convection at 300 oh
[10:03]: yummy
[10:04]: okay and uh you want your rack sort of
[10:08]: in the lower third
[10:09]: so i've got that all set up had to
[10:10]: verify i forgot to check the rack
[10:13]: took my chicken out of the brine uh and
[10:15]: i
[10:16]: patted it dry with some paper towels and
[10:18]: lightly salted
[10:19]: currently on the top i'll lightly salt
[10:21]: the bottom after we put it in here
[10:24]: so i've got my cast iron pan i'm going
[10:26]: to
[10:27]: hope that i can fit all of these pieces
[10:30]: in this cast iron pan because the
[10:32]: breasts are kind of huge
[10:34]: anyway um my cast iron pan
[10:37]: is preheating at a
[10:41]: medium high and i'm going to add
[10:44]: i'm not going to measure this i'm just
[10:46]: not but i'm gonna add some neutral
[10:48]: vegetable oil
[10:53]: i think that's fine um and
[11:00]: we're just gonna wait for it to shimmer
[11:03]: my stove doesn't take that long but then
[11:06]: the cast iron sometimes takes a little
[11:07]: while to sort of
[11:09]: build heat so because
[11:13]: my breasts are my my chicken breasts
[11:17]: here are so large
[11:19]: i'm going to try to put those in first
[11:22]: and see if i can
[11:25]: make it make them all fit
[11:28]: um we'll see
[11:31]: the point here is to get as much con the
[11:35]: skin and as much
[11:36]: contact with the pan as possible
[11:41]: pretty good
[11:45]: sit at me
[12:13]: okay now i know this is loud i'm going
[12:17]: to lightly salt this side just because i
[12:23]: haven't
[12:28]: there's no pepper so far in this recipe
[12:30]: so
[12:31]: it's interesting we let this go for
[12:33]: about a minute
[12:35]: so this has been about a minute um and
[12:37]: now we're going to put our herbs and
[12:39]: garlic
[12:40]: in the pan now
[12:43]: my garlic kind of fell apart when i
[12:45]: tried to
[12:47]: cut it across the equator it's fine i'm
[12:51]: going to put let's just put these
[12:53]: cut side down in the pan
[12:56]: i'm just going to do my best here
[13:03]: and also some
[13:07]: thyme and some rosemary
[13:10]: i'm just gonna try to get that in
[13:13]: contact with the bottom of the pot
[13:16]: pan if i can but
[13:20]: it'll be fine all right we're gonna let
[13:22]: this go for about four to five minutes
[13:24]: we want the skin to be
[13:26]: really crispy before we put it in the
[13:28]: oven
[13:29]: so it's been about four
[13:32]: minutes or so since i put the garlic in
[13:34]: here and we don't want it
[13:35]: to burn so now we're sort of taking it
[13:39]: up and moving putting it on top of the
[13:41]: chicken
[13:43]: as per the directions
[13:49]: you see how it's pretty brown there we
[13:52]: just don't want it to burn we want to
[13:54]: put it on top of the chicken
[13:56]: so that it
[14:01]: oh
[14:04]: i guess we'll flavor the chicken
[14:11]: so my skin is kind of sticking i'm
[14:13]: hoping as we
[14:15]: i'm not going gonna pull it up i'm
[14:17]: hoping
[14:18]: that um when we put it in the oven and
[14:20]: as it
[14:22]: gets really crispy it will release like
[14:24]: it's supposed to
[14:25]: [Music]
[14:26]: but we put it in the oven like this
[14:28]: except we need to add
[14:31]: some unsalted butter
[14:34]: on top of every piece
[14:39]: so just kind of
[14:45]: spreading it around
[14:46]: [Music]
[14:52]: putting all of the unsalted butter in
[14:54]: here
[14:56]: fine and i'm going to put this i'm going
[14:58]: to turn this
[14:59]: off and i'm going to slide it in the
[15:01]: oven
[15:02]: for 30 minutes our chicken's been in the
[15:06]: oven
[15:06]: at 300 convection 325.9 convection if
[15:10]: you do not have a convection oven for
[15:14]: probably a little more than 30 minutes
[15:16]: because i forgot to set a timer
[15:18]: and now we're going to see if we can
[15:20]: turn it over
[15:22]: so i'm going to take a nice
[15:27]: herbs and stuff off of it and we're
[15:30]: going to
[15:39]: some of it's sticking
[15:46]: there we go got one turned over
[15:52]: i'm i'm i've turned my oven up to 450
[15:56]: convection
[16:04]: my cast iron pan is not perfectly
[16:07]: seasoned sadly
[16:11]: but it's getting better
[16:15]: all right so i'm gonna try to put as
[16:18]: much of the skin
[16:19]: over top as i can there's a lot of
[16:21]: juices in the bottom of the pan so
[16:27]: there we go that skin just stuck
[16:32]: whatever okay
[16:35]: so there we go that's the best i can do
[16:39]: um i'm gonna transfer some of this stuff
[16:42]: actually now i'm gonna leave this stuff
[16:43]: on the bottom
[16:45]: and
[16:48]: when my oven is fully preheated it's not
[16:52]: yet i'm going to stick it in
[16:53]: to the oven for 10 minutes and then i'm
[16:57]: going to verify
[16:58]: that ours is done i'm going to use my
[17:01]: probe thermometer
[17:02]: and make sure that the breasts are at
[17:03]: least at least at about 160
[17:06]: 165 is completely done for breasts
[17:09]: the legs are usually in the 180s and
[17:12]: then they're done
[17:13]: but usually when the breasts are at 160
[17:15]: the legs will be fine
[17:16]: at 180 because they're smaller as you
[17:18]: can see so
[17:21]: almost no i'm not almost there i've got
[17:23]: a few minutes but i'm just gonna
[17:26]: wait till my oven beeps put this in
[17:29]: same place in the oven 10 minutes and
[17:32]: we'll be back
[17:33]: so our roast chicken was uh it's out of
[17:37]: the oven and it's been out for about 10
[17:38]: minutes
[17:39]: the thigh the leg quarters were done
[17:43]: at the usual 10 minutes but
[17:46]: the um
[17:49]: the breasts took another five to seven
[17:52]: minutes
[17:54]: they're huge so i'm going to put those
[17:58]: on this plate they've been resting
[17:60]: for
[18:03]: 10 minutes on a
[18:07]: sheet tray with a rack on top of it but
[18:10]: i'm just going to put them on this
[18:11]: serving dish now
[18:12]: that they've been resting for the 10
[18:14]: minutes required in the recipe
[18:17]: and i'm going to put those right there
[18:20]: because we're going to finish those with
[18:22]: a pan sauce and the first thing i'm
[18:24]: going to do
[18:24]: is because i want to eat these garlic
[18:26]: cloves i'm going to take
[18:29]: some of the garlic cloves out of the pan
[18:32]: and put them on the serving dish because
[18:35]: i love
[18:36]: some roasted garlic try to get as many
[18:39]: out of the
[18:42]: skin as possible there we go
[18:46]: and then we have
[18:52]: um a pan sauce to make here
[18:56]: so i think that's
[19:00]: as good as we can do for this i have a
[19:04]: shallow saucepan here with
[19:07]: a a small strainer set in it into it
[19:11]: because
[19:12]: you can either pull all of this out with
[19:14]: your
[19:15]: tongs or you can just strain it i'm just
[19:18]: gonna strain it
[19:21]: so i'm gonna pour all of this into there
[19:24]: i don't know why she doesn't make the
[19:25]: pan sauce in the pan
[19:27]: because that seems like the usual thing
[19:29]: to do but
[19:33]: we're just going to do it the way she
[19:34]: says
[19:37]: and i'm gonna have to pull that out
[19:38]: great
[19:43]: so you can see we left behind all of the
[19:46]: herbs
[19:48]: and the garlic skins
[19:51]: and we're done with that and what we're
[19:55]: going to do now is bring this
[19:56]: up to a simmer on
[19:60]: medium heat and i'm going to need a
[20:02]: whisk
[20:06]: so sadly all i have is my really huge
[20:08]: whisk but that's all right
[20:09]: it'll be fine so we're gonna bring this
[20:12]: up to a simmer
[20:13]: and then we're gonna add some things to
[20:14]: it so one second
[20:16]: all right so we've brought these to a
[20:18]: simmer
[20:19]: you can see and we're supposed to cut
[20:21]: the heat i'm going to turn it down to
[20:23]: basically
[20:24]: low and i'm going to use this same thing
[20:26]: we're going to add some lemon juice
[20:30]: i'm just straining out the seeds with
[20:33]: this
[20:35]: and
[20:37]: [Music]
[20:40]: whisk in some olive oil
[20:43]: i'm measuring this time
[20:48]: all right
[21:04]: [Music]
[21:08]: now that actually emulsified a lot
[21:10]: better than i expected it to
[21:12]: so you spoon this over your chicken and
[21:15]: serve
[21:16]: and that's it that's that's it for the
[21:18]: dish
[21:20]: and we'll let you know what we think
[21:21]: about it in just a minute
[21:30]: on this episode of cooking the books
[21:32]: with heather you watched me make
[21:33]: cast iron roast chicken with garlic and
[21:35]: herbs from ashley christensen's pools
[21:37]: diner cookbook
[21:40]: and i have to say we made this a long
[21:42]: time ago uh
[21:44]: somehow we we filmed it off a lot and
[21:46]: forgot to talk about this one
[21:49]: so you can probably tell from the length
[21:51]: of my hair which has not been cut since
[21:53]: january due to
[21:55]: you know events um
[21:58]: we forgot to talk about it and now we
[21:60]: need to film it so i had to go back and
[22:02]: watch this video myself
[22:04]: and i i will say
[22:07]: it didn't work great for me the chicken
[22:10]: skin stuck which may have been the fault
[22:13]: of my cast iron pan
[22:15]: i really need to use it more often it
[22:17]: was not super nonstick
[22:19]: um it a lot of juices accumulated in the
[22:22]: pan which also kind of
[22:24]: made the skin not really not really
[22:28]: crispy at the end i might
[22:32]: i don't know cook it
[22:35]: skin side up more maybe the whole time i
[22:38]: don't know
[22:39]: um i'd have to try it again actually to
[22:42]: see but i
[22:43]: did notice that didn't turn out exactly
[22:46]: right for me other than that it's not
[22:49]: it's not a really
[22:50]: difficult recipe and it was still
[22:51]: delicious even though the skin didn't
[22:53]: turn out
[22:54]: as crispy as i would have preferred with
[22:57]: the sauce it was still good the kids
[22:59]: enjoyed it
[23:01]: the sauces is not anything weird
[23:05]: so they enjoyed it and i made it a
[23:08]: little bit more difficult than i really
[23:09]: had to
[23:10]: by actually cutting the chicken into
[23:13]: pieces
[23:14]: so easy to go to the grocery store and
[23:16]: buy a cut up chicken
[23:17]: or if you go or have your butcher at the
[23:20]: grocery store
[23:21]: cut it up for you but it's not that bad
[23:24]: if you happen to have a whole chicken
[23:26]: which is what i had when we decided to
[23:28]: make this
[23:30]: so yeah i would make it again
[23:33]: i may try it again just like this now
[23:36]: that i think my cast iron skillet is a
[23:37]: little bit more nonstick i've been using
[23:39]: it a little bit more since then
[23:41]: i've been trying to do right by it
[23:45]: so i might try it again just as is
[23:49]: but if that doesn't work again if the
[23:51]: skin doesn't get crispy i would
[23:52]: i would try it cooking it skin side up
[23:54]: more of the time
[23:57]: anyway so if you enjoyed watching me
[23:60]: make this please give me a thumbs up
[24:03]: share with your friends if you think
[24:05]: they might enjoy it
[24:07]: and uh subscribe come back and watch me
[24:09]: make something else
[24:10]: next week