I like to keep my roast chicken simple, so I save more complex seasonings for sides and leftovers. To me, lemon is a natural pairing with chicken, and since citrus is at its best right now, I take advantage of it in this roast. I use a pre-heated cast-iron skillet for roasting, to make sure the chicken's backside gets nice and toasty brown. This is a dish that deserves an organic bird, so splurge please! —Savorykitchen
chicken, about 3.5 to 4 pounds
tangerine or clementine
In This Recipe
The night before you want to cook your chicken, place it on a rack on a baking sheet and sprinkle it liberally with salt (about a tablespoon of kosher salt). Leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for 12-48 hours. (If you're in a hurry you can skip this overnight step.)
Take the chicken out of the fridge about 90 minutes before you're ready to roast: to allow it to come up to a slightly warmer roomish temperature. Preheat the oven to 375 and put a 10-12" cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up.
Cut the citrus into quarters and set aside.
When the oven and skillet are hot, dry the chicken well with paper towels (if you're really obsessed with getting crispy skin - dry the skin with a hair dryer on medium low. Yes I do this.). Add the chicken to the hot skillet and scatter the citrus around the bird.
Roast the chicken for about 1 hour, or until cooked through (about 15 minutes a pound). Check the temp of the thigh meat with a thermometer, it should be at about 160 degrees.
Let the chicken rest on a platter for 15 minutes. While the bird is resting, remove the roasted citrus from the skillet. Pour off the rendered chicken fat from the skillet. Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth, stirring up any crispy bits from the bottom. Check for seasoning - you probably won't need to add any salt, but check to make sure.
Serve the carved chicken drizzled with pan juices and garnished with the wedges of roasted citrus.