This skillet roasted chicken recipe is the perfect way to roast a small chicken in a short amount of time! You will love the tender, juicy chicken with a delicious crispy skin.
Cooking chicken in a cast iron skillet in the oven yields really tender and juicy chicken fast. Usually roasting a chicken takes a couple of hours when all is said and done, but all the prep and cook time can be done in under and hour for this recipe.
I really love my cast iron skillet. You can make so many tasty things in it. 🙂
How to roast a chicken in a cast iron skillet (summary):
- Start by prepping your chicken (salt it inside & out - ideally overnight or for at least an hour).
- Preheat oven to 425F. Move the rack to the middle position. Put the skillet in the oven at the same time so it heats up.
- Coat the chicken in olive oil and add any rub/seasonings/fresh herbs you wish to.
- Add the oil to the skillet along with the chicken.
This is the condensed version to give you a quick idea of what the process entails. I have more details in the full recipe below. You can see it's a pretty straightforward process, though.
How long to roast whole chicken at 425F
- 3 lbs. chicken: 40-45 minutes (this is the size I used)
- 4-4.5 lbs. chicken: 50-60 minutes
- 5 lbs. chicken: 65-75 minutes
Note: These are just guidelines. Timing can vary depending on many things, including the actual temperature of your oven (ovens vary a lot) and whether the chicken was cold or room temperature, for example.
Let the chicken rest!
Keep in mind that once you take the chicken out of the oven, it'll keep cooking. Ideally a chicken should rest for 10-15 minutes. Taking the chicken out of the oven before a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh or breast reaches 165F is a good way to ensure the chicken will not be overdone. Resting ensures the chicken is more juicy as well.
I will mention that roasting chicken at such a high temperature can create some smoke and splatters in the oven, so I recommend having the kitchen extractor/exhaust fan on, and possibly opening a window. I don't see this warning on similar recipes, but I'm just putting that out there.
I used a 10.25" Lodge cast iron skillet for this recipe. If you wanted to add potatoes or something to the skillet (or roast a much larger chicken), it would be a little bit snug, but I had no issues whatsoever fitting the chicken in.
Hope you will enjoy this skillet roast chicken recipe! Questions? Let me know!
Skillet Roasted Chicken
- 1 small whole chicken (mine was 3 lbs.)
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- Rub/seasoning optional
- If possible, salt the chicken at least an hour ahead of time (or even overnight - leave it in the fridge). Pat the chicken dry with paper towel and generously season the inside and outside with salt. Do this at least 15 minutes in advance if you can't do it ahead of time.
- Preheat oven to 425F and move the rack to the middle of the oven. Place your cast iron skillet in the oven so it warms up (I do this as soon as I start preheating the oven).
- Pat the chicken dry again. Coat it in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add some pepper and seasoning/rub if you're using one.
- Once the oven is hot, take the skillet out and add the remaining olive oil. Move it around the inside of the pan so it's coated.
- Place the chicken in the middle of the skillet, breast side up. Return the skillet to the oven and roast for 45 minutes for a 3-lb. bird (see blog post for timing guidelines for other size chickens). I strongly suggest placing the skillet on a large baking sheet to catch some of the splatter (I did not do this and had to clean my oven).
- If the skin hasn't browned enough, broil it for a few minutes (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn).
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- If you're unsure if the chicken is cooked, be safe and use a meat thermometer (inserted into thickest part of the thigh or breast it should be 165F). Keep in mind the chicken will continue to cook while it's resting, so aim to take the chicken out before it hits 165F (aim for 155F-160F)
- Technique adapted from Bon Appetit magazine.
- I used my trusty 10-1/4" Lodge cast iron skillet to make this recipe.