There’s nothing more simple or more delicious than a roast chicken. This recipe makes a perfectly tender, juicy, and golden-brown bird along with the most delicious caramelized leeks.
We are finally starting to get nice and cool evenings here in Oregon and that always makes me want to slow cook meals and roast meats & veggies. Recently, I stumbled upon a recipe on Epicurious for a roast chicken with caramelized leeks that I couldn’t wait to try. I adapted the recipe a bit by adding some butter to the breast meat under the skin for extra flavor & juiciness and I also threw half a lemon & some garlic cloves into the cavity before roasting.
One thing I will do differently next time (and there WILL be a next time!), will be to triple the number of leeks I use because they were so delicious and I couldn’t stop eating them. This cast iron skillet roast chicken is super easy to throw together and my entire family thought the chicken was juicy and so tasty and it paired nicely with the rice pilaf I served it with.
How to Make a Roast Chicken with Caramelized Leeks
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then carefully pry the breast skin up with your fingers without ripping it, next, smoosh the butter evenly directly on each chicken breast. Season the whole bird generously with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, inside and out. Place the lemon half and garlic cloves into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine then set on a plate. Let the bird sit for 1 hour to allow the salt to penetrate.
Place the rack in the upper third of the oven and set a 12-inch cast iron skillet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Meanwhile, toss the leeks with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
Carefully, remove the HOT skillet from the preheated oven and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the chicken in the center of the skillet and arrange the leeks around it.
Place into the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Baste the bird and toss the leeks then roast for another 30-40 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the bird, like a thigh or under a breast, reaches 165 degrees.
Remove from the oven and allow the bird to rest for at least 20 minutes before carving and serving. Enjoy.