I love cast iron. Its a bit of an obsession. There really is nothing like it. At around 20 bucks you can get an indestructible piece of goodness that only gets better over time. Good bye non-stick.
Last nights dinner showed off the beauty of the cast iron in rare form.
My wife worked last night and I was in sole rule of the roost. My two children, Alexis (4) and Jake (2) are a few of my favorite things in the world...and also happen to be the harshest food critiques I have. I had a thawed whole chicken in the fridge and needed some inspiration.
In looking for a good way to roast the bird I ran across this post by the guys at 'The Paupered Chef' (great stuff, go there, lose a few hours of your day), who in turn got it from the Minimalist. It is the most ridiculously simple thing in the whole world.
1 Whole Chicken
1 bunch fresh Thyme (or Rosemary)
Cast iron pan (big enough to fit the chicken...like this one)
Preheat the oven to 450 f. That's right, crank it.
Wash off the chicken, pat dry, and rub with a good amount of salt (NEVER be stingy with salt) and crushed black pepper.
Get the pan really hot over high heat on the stove and put in the chicken, breast up.
Move immediately into the oven.
After 20 minutes stuff the cavity with the herbs. Make sure you don't burn your arm off, it's really hot.
When the thirty minutes are up, pull the chicken and cover it for 5-10 minutes. Don't neglect this. As much as you want to start burning yourself with dripping chicken grease and hot bits of
chicken goodness, it needs to rest in order for the juices to absorb.
(Look at that skin!)
Carve that bad boy and eat!
DO NOT neglect the ugly goodness in the pan...it is liquid platinum. This schmaltz can be used as a flavor filled fat for any number of things.
Remember to save the carcass...it is gold waiting to be turned into stock.