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Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Crispy Potatoes

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Size matters. This isn't the time for a mammoth Oven Stuffer, nor do we want some petite poussin—a 3½–4-lb. bird has the proportions we're after. When the breasts are roasted to perfection, all that dark meat is on-the-nose-done too.


  • 1 3½–4-pound whole chicken
  • 1½ pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with salt, inside and out. (We use 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt per lb.) Tie legs together with kitchen twine. Let sit 1 hour to allow salt to penetrate, or chill, uncovered, up to 1 day ahead.

  • Place a rack in upper third of oven and set a 12" cast-iron skillet or 3-qt. enameled cast-iron baking dish on rack. Preheat oven to 425°.

  • Meanwhile, toss potatoes, butter, thyme, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to coat; season with salt and pepper.

  • Once oven reaches temperature, pat chicken dry with paper towels and lightly coat with half of remaining oil; sprinkle with dry rub, if using. Drizzle remaining oil into hot skillet (this helps keep the chicken from sticking and tearing the skin). Place chicken in the center of skillet and arrange potatoes around. Roast until potatoes are golden brown and crisp and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breasts registers 155°, 50–60 minutes (temperature will climb to 165° as chicken rests). Let chicken rest in skillet at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes.

  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and carve. Serve with potatoes.

Reviews SectionI would definitely make this again! I made it for my friend last night and it was the juiciest bird I’ve ever cooked! Before roasting I stuffed the cavity with garlic, onion and half a lemon and added fresh black pepper. My friend was raving about how delicious the potatoes came out. I’ve decided to make this my go to recipe when I want to seal the deal to get a husband!I made this last night and found that the potatoes never became crispy as I had hoped because they were fully submerged in chicken juices and fat, not a bad thing of course. They were very flavorful, but not the best texture. Any advice other than draining the juices and crisping the potatoes next time? BTW, just with salt and pepper the chicken was absolutely perfect. 4 star only for potatoes.Make this almost weekly. Superb. Leftovers make great chicken club sandwiches (if there are leftovers).AnonymousOntario, Canada01/25/20Great recipe, turned out delicious! Used eggs instead of chicken. Great occasion to use the cast iron panI was sort of following two different recipes but I ended up with tiny potatoes, that I left whole, I added a sliced lemon and onion chunked up about the same size as the potatoes. Oh my gosh, this is my new favorite way to cook chicken and potatoes.AnonymousSeattle, WA01/16/20Love this recipe! Using a kosher chicken and skipping the brining part makes this a quick and easy recipe. For the dry rub, sometimes I use za’atar that I keep on hand. I vary the potatoes- fingerlings cut in half, purple, sliced with a mandolin or Yukon gold in chunks. It’s all good!This is my go to method for roasting chicken. Gorgeous rustic presentation and delicious!jacksearyChicago 11/03/19Dry rub from another BA article that I found that worked very nicely.1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed1 tsp black pepper, crushed2 tbsp curry powder1 tsp garlic powder1 tbsp coriander seed, crushed1/2 crushed red pepper flakes1 tsp mustard powderAlso, return the potatos to the oven to brown, while the chicken rests. I also added 1/2 onion, sliced to the potatoes, to add some extra flavor.Listing the type of dry rub would be nice.Viktor MihalToronto, Canada 04/24/19The salt trick gives the juiciest chicken your heart could desire. I am not a breast fan because it is so bland and dry but it couldn’t have been more delicious. We used a dry rub to flavor the chicken which ended up being the way to go. The potatoes are addictive.AnonymousLaguna Beach04/04/19This is easy, very moist, and absolutely delicious,al44322Silver Spring MD10/01/18Holy moly this was delicious. I used a rub from the store and red potatoes, sliced with a mandoline. It was a hit for all of us, including my almost two year old picky eater. This one stays in the rotation. Thank you so much for the recipe (and a good reason to use my cast skillet)Nicole FuocoLos Angeles, CA 03/31/18I don't see dry rub in the list of ingredientsAnonymousLos Angeles03/02/18The chicken was excellent! The potatoes did not cook eventually though. Next time when I take it out of the oven, I will rest the chicken on a cutting board and then put the skillet and potatoes back in the oven. Will definitely be using this process in the future.AnonymousOreland PA12/02/17I always remove the wish bone before cooking which makes cutting the breasts off in once piece each much easier. Putting salt on that long before cooking creates moisture on the skin, which doesn't work well.AnonymousVancouver BC11/08/17Fabulous, made it this past weekend...turned out that the crispy potatoes take on some of the chicken flavor...very good, thank you!!AnonymousIllinois10/23/17

Step 1: Prep Your Vegetables

The great thing about this is that it's really more of a technique than a prescribed recipe. I'm using small Yukon Gold potatoes, brussels sprouts, carrots, and shallots here, but you can use whatever good roasting vegetables you'd like. Are you a squash fiend? That'll work just fine. Really digging the broccoli or asparagus you found at the supermarket yesterday? Sure, you can use those as well.

No matter what vegetables you choose, you'll want to pre-treat them in some way. For some vegetables, particularly tender green vegetables, that's as simple as cutting them into bite-sized pieces. For other vegetables like firm roots, you'll want to par-boil them until just barely tender to give them a jump start on cooking. Very sweet vegetables like most onions, shallots, and garlic, should be added towards the end of cooking so that they don't burn.

I love my Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillets – they will outlive me and I plan on passing them down to my kids someday. That said, non enameled versions work just as well. Here are some “splurge” vs “save” cast iron skillet options:

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Artichoke Salsa and Roasted Asparagus

  • Splurge:Le Creuset 10.25″ Enameled Cast Iron Skillet (as seen in these photos.) This size skillet will fit a 3-4lb bird, and is a great all purpose cast iron skillet to have on hand for a family or household of 2 – 4 people.
  • Save:Lodge 10.25″ Cast Iron Skillet
  • Splurge:Le Creuset 11.75″ Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This size skillet will fit a large bird and is a great skillet to have on hand if your family is larger, 5+. I can fit 5, 1/4lb hamburgers inside, for reference.
  • Save:Lodge 12″ Cast Iron Skillet

Jonathan Waxman’s Roast Chicken


For the roasted chicken

  • ▢ One (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken preferably fresh, spatchcocked
  • ▢ Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢ 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salsa verde

  • ▢ 1/4 cup capers in salt
  • ▢ 4 salt-cured anchovies rinsed and deboned
  • ▢ 3 cloves garlic peeled
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped arugula
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • ▢ 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ▢ 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • ▢ 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • ▢ 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
  • ▢ 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ▢ 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


Make the roasted chicken

Make the salsa verde


Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Often there's an inverse relationship between the mess in my kitchen and the deliciousness of the dish. Splattered fat on the oven walls and splattered fat where I set the pan to baste the chicken didn't stop me from truly enjoying Jonathan Waxman's roast chicken. With the salsa verde drizzled over the chicken, it was a mouthful of goodness in every bite.

My chicken was significantly under 3 and 1/2 pounds but cooked in 30 minutes. It didn't brown as much as I would've liked, perhaps next time I'll cook it on a higher shelf or give it a quick run under the broiler. I had no trouble following the directions for butchering the chicken. As for the "fresh not frozen" chicken, I think that it is always best to use the finest ingredients you can obtain and afford. I think it would be a great meal even if the chicken was frozen.

I cooked mine in a 12 inch cast-iron skillet and removed it from the oven for basting so that the oven temp wouldn't drop. Hence the splattering. I did flip it over for a bit but removed it from the oven after 30 minutes. I rested it for 30 minutes, who doesn't like a well-rested bird!

I served it with the salsa verde and because of the size of my bird it would only serve 3 but I think a 3 1/2 pound chicken would serve 4.

The salsa verde is delicious. My local grocer doesn't carry salt-cured anchovies or capers in salt. I think it's worth obtaining these at a specialty market but I'd say that you can make a delicious salsa verde using canned anchovies or anchovy paste and capers in brine. This uses a lot of herbs, it is wonderful to be able to pick them out of the garden in the summer, the winter makes it a bit more challenging. I think you can be flexible with the herbs, adding and subtracting what you like. It did come out a bit oily, but stirring it up prior to serving did help. It makes more than I could use on a whole chicken but I think it would be delicious on any steamed vegetables, potatoes, or even on simple steak preparations.

I can always use another weeknight dinner that doesn’t take advance planning yet is satisfying and adaptable. My local butcher had an irresistible deal on free-range, antibiotic-free, air-chilled chicken. The smallest one was over four pounds and would take a bit longer to cook, but when the butcher willingly spatchcocked it for me, all I had to do at home was remove the breastbone and wingtips while the oven pre-heated. The seasoning is dead plain, but if you were inclined to add some oregano or other spices you can do so confidently.

I didn’t have the salsa verde herbs on hand, but I did have a good piquant alternative, with preserved lemon and a bit of honey and olive oil. I did give this larger bird an extra 12-15 minutes. Even though it was not brined, the breast meat turned out perfectly moist and all was nicely browned. Temperature checking easily 165-172℉ internally (using a Thermapen). I was able to slide a tray of Brussels sprouts alongside to roast in parallel.

Since we only planned on serving half, I reserved the other half for the next day while returning just what would be eaten to the oven for the final reheat. I reserved meat juices to make a pan sauce the next day for variety. A simple weeknight dinner of this Jonathan Waxman roast chicken, a glass of Pinot Noir and we were all set.

Jonathan Waxman's roast chicken is a fantastic, simple, recipe for roast chicken. Using chicken halves ensures a faster roasting time and easier serving. I'd recommend having your butcher do the spatchcocking as the recipe suggests. I struggled a bit with this step and it would have been easier had I just asked an expert.

Even with that minor issue, the recipe pulled together marvelously quickly and resulted in a dish that was simple and comforting. The chicken was moist enough that I didn't add any sort of sauce. Had a simple dinner of this chicken, rice, and broccoli.

This Jonathan Waxman's roast chicken recipe is really fantastic if you're craving a whole roasted chicken and don't have the hours to spare. The recipe still takes some time but is nowhere near the amount of time it would usually take. As someone who is completely new to the world of spatchcocking a whole bird, it was incredibly easy (once you've watched a few YouTube videos on how to do it) so don't shy away from this recipe just because it's spatchcocked.

The bird was incredibly juicy with nice and crisp skin. Just follow the visual cues of the chicken (skin browning, juices running clear, etc.) and not necessarily the timing in the recipe and you won't be disappointed. I may not return to regular whole roast chickens again.

I spatchcock my birds 99% of the time, so it was the salsa verde that enticed me to make this recipe for Jonathan Waxman's roast chicken. The simple seasoning, roasting, basting, and resting of the bird results in a very succulent bite of chicken. Topping it with this wonderfully herbaceous salsa, with the sage made each bite even more spectacular. My better half was “mmmming” the whole time she ate the chicken. I’ve been advised that I had better make it for her again.

That noted, I will say breaking down the chicken is pretty easy, but chopping all the herbs will take some time, and I did that as the bird roasted. I used my All-Clad mini prep to blitz the rough-cut herbs with a quarter cup of oil, then added the rest of the ingredients. I think that process made for a more homogenous salsa verde.

Roast chicken is always a favorite and this Jonathan Waxman roast chicken was a good one. The preparation methods described were helpful and took spatchcocking to a new level. I did like removing the breastbone, as suggested, and it made for much easier service.

I do think that the higher cooking temperature of 450°F degrees ensures crispy skin and a juicy interior—solving the common problem of dried-out chicken 2 checks so far. The sea salt, pepper, and olive oil for seasoning was just fine, but nothing special. I cooked it in a 12" cast iron pan which works quite well in the hot oven. The salsa verde included in the recipe was quite good. While it was easy to prepare, I would have enlisted a mini-chop processor rather than a mortar and pestle. I think it would have helped with emulsification, and if your mortar and pestle isn't sizable, it may be difficult to smash until all is smooth.


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Recipe Summary

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 whole (2 1/2- to 3-pound) chicken, wings removed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 chicken liver
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • Fleur de sel, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Butter a medium roasting pan with 3 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons oil. Place potatoes in a single layer in roasting pan. Season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Place liver, rosemary, thyme, and garlic inside cavity of chicken using kitchen twine, tie legs together to enclose. Rub chicken with remaining 3 tablespoons each of butter and oil. Place chicken on top of potatoes on one of its sides.

Transfer roasting pan to oven and roast for 20 minutes. Turn chicken onto its other side and continue roasting 20 minutes more. Turn chicken, breast side up, and add 2 tablespoons water to pan continue roasting until juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10 to 20 minutes more.

Carve chicken in roasting pan allowing the juices to combine with the potatoes. Serve from the roasting pan, spooning pan juices over potatoes. Sprinkle with fleur de sel.

  • For the chicken:
  • 10 cloves garlic (6 left whole, 4 grated or minced)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves, plus 1 whole sprig
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (drums, thighs, and breasts, or a combination)
  • 4 tablesopons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Heat 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven for 15 minutes.

In large bowl, stir grated garlic, rosemary, zest, salt, pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place butter in cast iron skillet and return to oven until melted, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and salt, and stir to coat. Spread potatoes out into single layer and place on lower-middle rack. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove potatoes, toss with a spoon to turn and coat with butter, then return to upper-middle rack.

When potatoes have been transferred to upper-middle rack, prepare the chicken. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chicken pieces, skin side down, and cook until well browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve any lemon-rosemary mixture left in the chicken marinating bowl.

Using tongs, turn chicken pieces over. Add carrots and remaining lemon-rosemary mixture to pan, and transfer to lower-middle rack in oven.

Continue roasting until potatoes are fully cooked and golden and carrots are tender, about 25 minutes longer. As cooking time approaches end, check chicken pieces for doneness with an instant-read thermometer, removing chicken pieces as they finish cooking (155°F for breast meat, 170°F for legs and drumsticks), and keeping them warm on a plate covered in heavy duty foil. Serve potatoes and carrots with cooked chicken pieces.

Enchiladas are not usually a quick dish to put together. But this skillet version includes canned enchilada sauce and precooked chicken — use a rotisserie chicken — to make it a lot faster. Tearing up the tortillas and mixing them in instead of rolling them also cuts the effort. Go wild with your favorite toppings, like avocado, sliced radishes, corn salsa or hot sauce.

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Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Garlic Butter Chicken with Potatoes and Tomatoes

The title is a mouthful isn’t it? While it’s a long title, I promise you that it’s a simple recipe! I love cooking up a whole chicken as easily makes a couple servings (for a family dinner or as a meal prep) and I usually cook my roast chicken in a dutch oven. However, since that recipe has been up on the blog, I’ve gotten some questions as to how to make it without a dutch oven. So today, I’m sharing with you how to roast a whole chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Fair warning, I personally love making my chicken in a dutch oven much more than in the skillet. Cooking a chicken in a skillet requires a little more work because without the lid, you have to continually baste the chicken while it’s roasting. While you might be able to skip the basting, I recommend you don’t as it helps keep the chicken moist. Plus if there’s any garlic on the outer skin, it’ll burn if it’s not basted.

For this roasted chicken and potatoes recipe, I use a 10″ cast iron skillet. If you prefer, you can use a 12″ skillet.


I love making bone in, skin on chicken breasts because they stay super tender and juicy. They’re easier to cook without drying out because the bone and skin kind of create a barrier to lock in the juices so they don’t dry out. These baked chicken breasts are roasted on a bed of leeks and potatoes that get caramelized and crispy making the perfect side dish with just one pot to clean.


This easy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast recipe is the ultimate in weeknight dinners that could easily double as an elegant dinner for entertaining. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, a stainless steel skillet would work well, too. I love this cast iron skillet and have been using it for years!

A nonstick skillet will be less effective in creating the crispy crust commonly found on a pan seared chicken but will work in a pinch if you don’t have the other cookware.

  1. Add oil to a heavy cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Heat oil until shimmering.
  3. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet skin side down.
  4. Cook the chicken until golden brown and crispy, approximately 5-10 minutes.
  5. Flip the chicken and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to platter and keep warm.
  7. Add the leeks and potatoes to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the leeks begin to soften.
  8. Stir in the butter,chicken stock, garlic and herbs.
  9. Return the chicken to the pan arranging on top of the potatoes.
  10. Transfer the skillet to a 425 degree oven and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees.
  11. Remove the skillet from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving with the potatoes. Spoon pan juices over the chicken, if desired.

This baked chicken breast recipe is also wonderful with bone in chicken thighs….simply cook as directed and check the temperature for doneness with an instant read thermometer.

Can I make Cast Iron Chicken Breast with boneless chicken breasts?

You can totally make this oven baked chicken recipe with boneless chicken breasts. Just sear the chicken breasts in the skillet as directed and bake the chicken for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

To keep your skillet chicken breasts from drying out, you can cover lightly with foil to help keep in the moisture.

We also LOVE this easy Oven Baked Chicken Breast recipe to mix things up a bit!


Our favorite side dishes to serve with this skillet chicken breast recipe are also our reader favorites. Here are a few side dishes that go well with this recipe:

And if you’re feeling totally lazy, like I do most nights when it comes to dinner, you can also serve with a light green salad topped with a simple Blue Cheese Dressing or these Loaded Wedge Salads are fantastic and impressive!

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