Simple Roast Chicken

Simple Roast Chicken

A simple roast chicken served with white or brown rice is one my favorite dishes. I actually love chicken and rice prepared in almost any style – stir-fried chicken with black bean sauce and white Jasmine rice, Mexican chicken and rice, Cuban-style rice and beans with chicken, rice and chicken casserole… you get the idea. But a simple roast chicken, prepared with salt, pepper, olive oil, and fresh garlic, served with steamed rice is my favorite.

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s method for ‘simplest roast chicken.’ He takes a pre-heated cast-iron skillet, places the bird on top of the skillet, and sticks the whole thing in a hot oven. The hot skillet helps jump-start the cooking process and gets the bottom of the bird cooking first. It’s a clean, simple method that works really well.

Continue to recipe.


1 whole chicken
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Any seasonings or chopped herbs of choice (optional)
4-6 garlic cloves


1. Heat oven to 500 F. Place cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven.

2. Clean chicken. Rub with olive oil and any seasonings or herbs of choice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully place the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Place a couple of garlic cloves inside the bird. Lay the remaining cloves in the skillet around the chicken.

4. Roast for 15 minutes, and then turn the oven temperature down to 350 F. Continue to roast until the chicken is golden brown, about 45 minutes. After that time, a food thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh should read 155 to 165 F.

3. Before removing the chicken from the pan, tip the pan to allow the juices to flow from the chicken’s cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter, and let it rest for about 5 minutes before carving.

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