If perfectly cooked, moist chicken is what you're after — this recipe is for you!
I think I've made at least a dozen variations of this recipe since I read the April 2016 issue of Rachael Ray Magazine. The cover story included three recipes for cooking one-pot chicken dinners in a cast iron skillet (one of which could be made 8SAFE!). It was so easy and the chicken turned out amazing. Seriously — it's turned out great every single time. Perfectly cooked, juicy and flavorful PLUS it's ridiculously easy to do!
Feel free to swap out some of the veggies if you'd like: tomatoes, cauliflower, small heads of bok choy, brussel sprouts, winter squash, sweet potatoes, yams, cabbage, broccoli — anything veggie you can roast can be used. So have fun and make it your own!
I cram as many vegetables around the chicken as I can, but sometimes I end up with a little extra. You can spread them out on a sheet pan and roast them alongside the chicken, or just store in the fridge for another night.
If you use organic and humanely raised chicken, you don't need to worry so much about the fat (we need good fats for proper brain & body functions!). So if you make the gravy, feel free to skim off some fat if you'd like but it's okay to leave some in too. Plus — you totally get the thumbs up to nosh on a piece of that perfectly crispy skin without the guilt!
Cast Iron Chicken & Vegetables
This recipe has been adapted from the Herbed Chicken with Cauliflower & Tomatoes recipe that was featured in the April 2016 edition of Rachael Ray Magazine.
The 8SAFE processed products that I used in this recipe were: Kirkland Organic extra Virgin Olive Oil; Arrowhead Mills Organic Brown Rice Flour; Sutter Home Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (both available in tiny bottles); and Pacific brand organic free range Chicken Broth.
A recipe is only 8SAFE if it is free of gluten and the top eight food allergens. Please be mindful of this when selecting products to use in this recipe, and double check the ingredients of the products you use.
Time : approx. 1 1/2 hours
One 4-5 lb organic, humanely raised chicken
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon (optional)
2-3 celery stalks
1/2 large yellow onion
3-4 white or red-skinned potatoes
8-10 mushrooms (optional)
2-4 garlic cloves
5-10 sprigs fresh thyme
8-12 fresh sage leaves
kosher salt & crushed black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425º.
Rinse the chicken, pat dry with paper towels, and place in a large cast iron skillet. Stuff the cavity of the bird with half of the thyme and sage, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, and 1/2 lemon (if using). Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Rub the outside of the bird with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then season liberally with about 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes on the middle rack.
While the chicken is roasting, cut all the vegetables into 1 inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss the cut vegetables, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, and remaining thyme and sage with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt & big pinch of pepper.
After the chicken has roasted for 25 minutes, add the vegetables to the pan and roast for another 50-60 minutes, stirring the vegetables once halfway through.
Let the bird rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes, while you remove the vegetables from the pan and make the gravy (optional).
To make gravy:
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
1/2 - 2 cups chicken stock (depending on how thick you like your gravy)
salt and pepper to taste
Pour the juices from the pan into a gravy separator or other container (if you used an organic chicken you don't have to worry about separating the fat).
Mix the rice flour and olive oil together into a paste. Set aside.
Place the pan on a burner over medium heat. Add a splash or two of white wine or chicken stock and scrap the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
Add the flour & oil paste to the pan and let cook, whisking constantly, for a minute or two (to cook the flour so the gravy doesn't taste raw).
Gently add the pan drippings and whisk until smooth (some small pieces of chicken, roasted veggies, or herbs are totally okay and add flavor!).
Whisk in the chicken stock (a little at a time) until the gravy is the consistency you like. Add a big pinch of salt and some pepper, then taste. If it's falling flat, add more salt (a little at a time) until the flavor pops OR you can let the gravy cook on medium-low heat for a few minutes to cook off any extra liquid and concentrate the flavor.
Serve over the chicken and vegetables.