Most small families are acquainted with the somewhat wholesome fast food known as “The Rotisserie Chicken”. A trip to a shopping mecca for us means a 35-40 mile drive-each way. So we only do the trip twice a month, stocking up very carefully, making 3 or more stops. We have a local small grocer, but the prices are not friendly. Anyway, a long trip to civilization tires me out, and we usually grab a rotisserie chicken or a pre-made pizza at Sam’s or some other grocery store. But, as quick, easy and economical as those chickens are (the two of us get at least three meals from one) we noticed that they have a strange taste to them lately. I think they are injected with something I probably don’t want in my body. So I set out to find the simplest recipe for roasting a largish fryer chicken. Eons ago, when we lived in Germany, a favorite restaurant featured half a chicken, fried potatoes and salad for the equivalent of a dollar. I had seen them prepping these chickens-not on a rotisserie but in huge, heavy, blackened pans that held 12 or more chickens at a time, and they were put in the super hot pizza ovens! The chicken was always moist and tasty. So I trolled Google, found a few suggestions, distilled them in my head to the simplest possible recipe:
- 1 fryer chicken-no more than 5 lbs (that is probably into the roaster category)
- olive oil
- mixed seasonings (this is a great place to use those fancy packets of chicken seasoning you might have picked up at a crafts fair-or just plain Montreal Seasoning)
- 1 10-12 inch iron skillet
- Yep that is all it takes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. And while the oven is heating-add the star of this particular recipe-a large iron frying pan! I used my mother's 10 inch iron frying pan for this.
- Please, as always, adhere to the most recent professional advice on handling poultry in your kitchen. Pat the whole chicken dry after removing the giblets. Give it a generous rub with olive oil-all over. Sprinkle the chicken with your chosen spices.
- When the oven and the frying pan have reached maximum temperature, open the oven and plop that bird in the pan-sizzle!
- Close up the oven and walk away for an hour. It is advisable that you consult the authorities on what the optimal internal temperature is for well done chicken, and use your meat thermometer to check this.
- When this has been met-pull the frying pan out of the oven and let it rest-as is- for 15 minutes-this lets all those juices suck back into the meat.
- Carve and serve.
I bet that you could replicate this recipe without the frying pan, but I can’t guarantee that. I cleaned a few Yukon Gold potatoes and drizzled them with olive oil and salt and pepper and put them in the microwave until almost done-then added them to the frying pan in the oven to sizzle in the chicken juice for the last 10 minutes. In my experience, 450 degrees is too hot for this kind of potato, they can get hard. Add a quick green vegetable and dinner is served. You can certainly make gravy in the skillet, but I saved the drippings as well as the carcass for bone broth the next day.