Roast Chicken


(Adapted from the recipe in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything the Basics)


Serves 4


1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ with the oven rack placed in the lower third of the oven.

2. When the oven has reached 400 ˚, put a 12-inch cast iron (or other heavy oven-proof) skillet in the oven to heat for 10 – 15 minutes.

3. While the pan heats, wipe the chicken dry with paper towels. Rub the oil all over the outside of the chicken and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

4. When the pan is heated, carefully put the chicken in the pan, breast-side up.

5. Roast for 45 – 60 minutes. (45 min. for a 3 pound chicken to 60 min. for a 4 pound chicken)

6. Check the chicken. When done, the thickest part of the thigh should register 165˚. Alternatively, tilt the chicken and the juices running from the inside should be clear, not red or pink.

7. If it’s not quite done (my 4.35 pound chicken was not quite done after an hour) put it back in the oven and check again in 5 or 10 minutes. (Mine was done after an additional 10 minutes.)

8. Remove the chicken from the pan to a cutting board or plate. Let it rest at least 5 minutes.

9. If you want to serve the chicken with the pan juices, pour the juices into a glass measuring cup. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow the fat to rise to the top.

10. Spoon some of the excess fat from the top of the juices.

11. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and serve with the pan juices.