Took a recipe from the America’s Test Kitchen book “Cook it in cast iron” today and was very pleased with how it turned out. Too often on my first attempt at a new recipe I somehow screw it up, but tonight that did not happen. I own a handful of cast iron skillets as well as a cast iron dutch oven so I purchased this book to give myself more opportunities to use my skillets. I’m glad I did.
The dish I chose to make was pan roasted chicken breasts with root vegetables. Cannot lie, it turned out great. Chicken was moist, vegetables were the right amount of done and the flavors were excellent. The kid even ate a good amount of the chicken until he started thinking about the bones we were having to eat around.
Chicken isn’t something we’ve eaten much of in the past due to my inability to cook it well. I tend to dry it out, over cook it on the grill, or just not season it well enough. Luckily I’ve been reading some books on flavoring and have learned salting chicken early on, sometimes the day before cooking helps, but I’ve still struggled to be able to cook it well.
The recipe I tried tonight helped keep it moist. Searing the chicken before roasting it in the oven laying on a bed of root vegetables in a cast iron skillet was exactly what I needed to boost my confidence with chicken. The crispy skin held in the moisture and letting the chicken rest on the vegetables rather than sitting directly on the hot skillet helped it maintain its juices.
The seasoning was simple. Salt and pepper on the chicken. Salt, pepper, and dried rosemary on the vegetables. Nothing more, nothing less. The chicken fell apart as I dug in with my fork and the crispy skin snapped just the right amount. The meat was perfectly juicy and the only bits left on my plate were the bones from the breast.
This dish will definitely become part of the rotation for family meals and it may just come out when I am trying to impress friends with my cooking ability. I am happy to have finally found a chicken dish I can easily prepare, it only took about 2 hours to make from prep to plate and it passed the test of whether our son would eat it. All around the pan roasted chicken dish was a perfect winter evening meal.