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Splayed Roast Chicken in an Iron Skillet

Our family is quite small because it’s just me and my little girl and sometimes my buddy Mr. M comes over for dinner, so I miss making big Sunday dinners. I rarely make one of my favourite things, which is roast chicken. It takes a while to slow roast so it’s better suited to raining days. So when I saw this technique for quick roasting a chicken, I had to try it. Yesterday I got home and got started on my own version of this recipe, inspired by an older cookbook I had which called for making a garlic and herb butter which you then spread underneath the skin of the chicken and on top as well. I salted the butter itself, and I salted the outside of the chicken. I cut up an onion into quarters and threw that in the cast iron skillet as well with some olive oil, but I really should have waited until 30 minutes before the end I think. I didn’t preheat the pan for 45 – holy crap that’s a long time. I put it in there for maybe 10 minutes while I was cutting veggies and preparing the chicken. I wasn’t too sure about the 500 degrees so I had it at 450. When I took it out and added the chicken there was some major sizzling going on. It was in the oven about 15 minutes I suppose when the fire alarm started going off. The whole thing was smoking like crazy and the whole smelled of garlic butter. I turned on the fan, opened the door and window and hoped for the best because Mr. M was coming over in little over an hour so dinner had to be ready. After the first 30 minutes perhaps I gave up and turned it down to 375. It cooked in about an hour and 20 minutes and really was moist and yummy. I’ll try this again and do steps 1 and 2 properly, plus use just the olive oil and see if that helps cut down the smoke. Butter has a very slow smoking point so I should have known better. lol

Bonus: All about smoking points.  And, what the heck is a ramp? 

Sorry, forgot to take pics. I know, half the point of food blogging is the food porn, but I am without a good camera right now, and I cook to eat not to take pics! lol 

Splayed Roast Chicken With Caramelized Ramps, Garlic and Capers

Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

1 4 1/2-pound whole chicken, patted dry
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh ramps (6 ounces)
1 lemon, quartered
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon capers.

1. Rub the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. If you’ve got time, do this 2 to 3 hours ahead and refrigerate the bird uncovered. Otherwise, let it rest uncovered at room temperature while the oven heats.

2. Place a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet in the oven and heat to 500 degrees for 45 minutes. If you salted the chicken in advance, take it out of the fridge so it can warm to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, prep the ramps: trim the hairy bottoms and remove the outer layer of skin. Separate the leaves from the bulbs, rinse both gently and pat dry. Cut any fat bulbs (wider than a pencil) in half lengthwise. Tear the leaves into large pieces.

4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin connecting the legs to the body. Splay the thighs open until you feel the joint pop on each side. Place 2 lemon wedges inside the chicken.

5. Carefully transfer chicken, breast-side up, to the hot skillet. Press down on the legs so they rest flat on the bottom of the pan. Drizzle the bird with the oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Toss ramp bulbs (not leaves), garlic and capers into the skillet. Stir to coat them with pan juices. Roast for 5 minutes more, then stir again. Continue cooking until ramps are tender and chicken is no longer pink, 5 to 15 minutes more (for a total cooking time of 40 to 50 minutes).

6. Remove chicken from oven and stir ramp leaves into the pan until just wilted. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the pan juices and ramps, garlic and capers, seasoning everything with juice from the remaining lemon wedges, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

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About heathershomemade

Cupcake obsessed foodie from Ottawa, ON, Canada

One response »

  1. Pingback: Master List of the BEST Cookbooks | Heather's Homemade

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