Whole Roast Chicken looks so unassuming - it's the gold mine in the pan under the chicken that's the real winner here!
We already know a whole chicken is the most economical way to eat chicken. But when you want a real show stopper of a meal, cooking it whole is where it's at. You won't believe the amazing gravy that comes outta this pan!
Serve this with fresh mashed potatoes or a loaf of sourdough (why not both??) and some roasted veggies and dinner's done. The family will feel special on a random weekday or whip this out for Sunday dinner guests.
Why You Need This Recipe
- One pan! The chicken and gravy require just one dish.
- Super easy and economical. We butcher our own chickens so this is a perfect recipe.
Chicken - select a bird that's 4-5 pounds. You can certainly go larger, whatever fits in your skillet! Just always, always go by temp to determine when it's done cooking.
Figs - I love the taste of dried figs here. They rehydrate well inside the chicken and mash up into an amazing pan sauce. You can also use dates.
Rosemary - this is my favourite herb for chicken, but thyme works too. Use the leaves stripped off the stems, or use dried if it's what ya got.
Glaze - a combo of soy sauce, yellow mustard, and honey!
How to Make Oven Roasted Whole Chicken
***See recipe card below for precise measurements and instructions.***
Step 1: Get the oven cranked up and dice up the figs. Mix them with the fresh herbs.
Step 2: Add the fig mixture to the chicken cavity, followed by lemon wedges.
Step 3: Whisk the glaze and brush over the "backside" of the chicken, with it setting breast side down in the pan. We go breast side down so that the nice fats in the dark meat baste the breasts.
Step 4: Roast for 45 minutes or so, then carefully flip the chicken over and brush with remaining glaze. Return to the oven until it is 170°F in the dark meat.
Step 5: Remove stuffing from chicken into the pan juices and let the chicken rest on a cutting board.
Step 6: Either mash the figs and use the pan juice right away, or simmer gently to thicken and finish with a pat of butter. Slice chicken and serve!
Tips and Tricks
- Always use a thermometer when cooking poultry! Unlike steak you can't serve this undercooked so check in the thick parts of the dark meat.
- No figs? Try dates, instead!
- Use whatever mustard is in the fridge. It's one of the items I just buy whatever type is at the store.
Soy sauce contains gluten, but you can use tamari or coconut aminos here. This makes it perfect for those with a gluten intolerance.
I like a 4-5 pound chicken for a family. When you slice it up prior to serving, it goes further because people aren't taking a whole "piece" of the chicken (the standard 8 pieces). If you have a larger chicken, no need to increase the amount of stuffing.
Photos by Dante from Shire by the Sea
More Hearty Dinners
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Cast Iron Roast Chicken
- Cast Iron Frying Pan
- 4-5 lb whole chicken
- 1 cup chopped dried figs or dates
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 lemon cut into slices
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- Black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Chop the figs and mix with rosemary leaves. Stuff into chicken cavity. Add lemon wedges into cavity.
- Place chicken in a 12" cast iron pan, breast side down.
- Whisk glaze ingredients in a measuring cup and brush exposed chicken with glaze. Save remainder.
- Begin roasting chicken, about 45 minutes to start.
- Carefully remove pan from oven. Flip the chicken over so the breast is up and brush with remaining glaze.
- Continue roasting until done, about 35-55 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. Total time is approximately 20 minutes per pound.
- Use an instant read thermometer to check the thick parts of the dark meat and aim for 170°F.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board to rest, dumping the stuffing back into the pan.
- Next, either simply mash the fruit into the pan juices, or let simmer to thicken and finish with a pat of butter.
- Slice chicken and either return to the gravy/pan sauce or serve with the gravy on the side.
- Aways use a thermometer when cooking chicken! I am for 170° in the thickest part of the thigh. Usually because I have started it with the dark meat facing up and use stuffing and glaze, the white meat doesn't dry out.