Oh Pioneer Woman, thou art a dictionary of recipes!
Whenever I feel that I need some inspiration or guidelines on a recipe I want to try out for the first time I almost always land on a Pioneer Woman recipe first. Why? Because she rocks!
A few weeks ago I was at the grocery store and the meat department lady walked up to me and was like "hey - just throwing it out there - we have a TON of fryer chickens that I need to unload ASAP. They were $0.92/lb yesterday and today they are down to $0.78! You should pick one up." Well, I had actually only cooked a whole chicken ONCE before and it was a horribly failed beer can chicken attempt. I was a little skeptical, but she gave me her rundown of how she prepares her chickens and I was inspired. And who can beat the price of a home cooked dinner for literally just a couple bucks?! So I picked up a few extra veggies and came home to research how in the heck was I going to cook this thing with the ingredients that I have on hand. And I knew I wanted to cook this chicken in my cast iron dutch oven. So off to google-land I went, and landed upon this recipe that I took some hints from.
So here's what I did.
You will need:
1 white / sweet onion
4 medium brown potatoes
2-3 T of Penzey's Italian Seasoning
1 T of Penzey's Rosemary
1/2 stick of butter
You will do:
1. Wash your chicken, remove the organs and then thoroughly dry it off, inside and out. I typically boil the organs in water and then feed it to the dog. Everyone will get a little bit of this chicken today.
2. Chop 1/4 of the onion into large pieces, peel the apple and do the same. Stuff it all inside the chicken.
3. Combine 2-3 T of italian seasoning, 1 T of rosemary, about 1 T of kosher salt and about 3 T of olive oil. Rub it all over the outside of the chicken. Lay her on a pan in the fridge until you are ready to cook her. And keep an eye on that dog.
4. Peel and chop your carrots and potatoes, coarsely chop the onion and toss in a bowl with additional olive oil and salt. Set those aside as well.
5. Place your cast iron dutch oven inside your oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees (with the cast iron inside). Heat the cast iron for about 20 minutes before you are ready to cook. You never want to cook food in a cold cast iron dish. Bring out the chicken and veggies during this time to allow them to get brought up to temperature a little bit (my husband would freak out about the temperature danger zone but I personally am more ok with it as long as you are going to cook it ASAP).
6. When you're ready to go, place the chicken in the cast iron (breast side up) and surround her with the
veggies. Scatter bits of butter on top of the whole mix, cover, bake and leave it alone for about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove the lid for the last 10-15 minutes to help develop that crispy skin that we all secretly love.
8. Serve with some warm sourdough bread. YUM.
Some additional thoughts...
SAVE THEM BONES, veggie scraps from preparation and any junk from the chicken that you wouldn't eat. Why? Bone broth in a crock pot, baby.