Cast Iron Roast Chicken Recipe


  • 1 whole chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Fresh herbs like rosemary or sage


Prep the Chicken

  • Remove chicken from packaging and pat it completely dry with paper towels. This is crucial for crispy skin.
  • Remove giblets and neck if included.
  • If desired, stuff the chicken cavity with a halved lemon and fresh herbs for extra flavor.
  • Truss the legs together with kitchen twine to help the chicken cook evenly. Tuck wing tips behind the back.

Preheat Oven & Skillet

  • Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Place a 12-inch cast iron skillet directly in the oven while it preheats.

Flavor the Chicken

  • In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic powder.
  • Rub the mixture generously all over the chicken, ensuring you get under the skin on the breast and legs.

Roast (Initial High Heat)

  • Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven and place on a heat-resistant surface.
  • Place the chicken, breast side up, in the center of the skillet.
  • Roast at 450°F (230°C) for 20 minutes to initially crisp the skin.

Reduce Heat & Finish

  • Reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
  • Continue roasting for 30-40 more minutes, or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F (74°C). Insert an instant-read thermometer away from the bone.

Rest & Carve

  • Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Tent the chicken loosely with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute.


Don’t overcrowd: Use a large enough skillet so the chicken isn’t touching the sides. This promotes even cooking and browning.

Pan drippings: The delicious pan drippings are the perfect base for a simple gravy.

Variations: Get creative with seasonings or add vegetables like potatoes, carrots and onions to the skillet to roast alongside the chicken for a complete one-pan meal.

Enjoy your perfectly cooked, juicy, and flavorful cast iron roast chicken!


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