Garlic & Ghee Cast Iron Roasted Chicken
From a note I wrote to Mama P & Dad D -
I love this for its multitude of uses. Sourcing the chicken to be organic and pasture raised. It's our go to Sunday night meal at least twice a month sometimes more. We eat off of it a day or two after throwing the chicken on salads and quinoa bowls.....sometimes making a chicken salad. We are not a fat phobic house, eating grass-fed butter, ghee and coconut oil on the regular. Making this in a cast iron makes it easy to throw in the middle of the table (on a trivet!) and carve directly from there after letting it sit for a rest. It retains the juices better and cooking on the iron is good for you.
4-6 lb: Whole Chicken
1 Head: Garlic
1 TBS: Ghee
Salt: Sea Salt with a little Pink Salt
Pepper: Fresh Cracked Pepper and/or White Pepper
Optional: Coconut Oil and or Butter can be added to the ghee garlic mix. Don't over think it, just about a tsp or so. This changes the browning crispy levels though as they have different heating points.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Decide whether you are going to rinse your chicken. Personally, even with organic chicken, I still choose to rinse. I know that the recommendation has changed but I do. Make sure you dry it though! :)
Smash and mince garlic. Put aside (it needs at least 12 minutes for the allicin to stabilize but 15 min is even better).
A tablespoon of ghee in a bowl. You can also add a tsp of coconut oil if you like that flavor.
Add salts and peppers. Yup, ideally I would add a good pinch of kosher salt and Himalayan (pink) salt. Fresh cracked black pepper and a dash of white pepper. Do not stress if you don't have all that. Just make sure you have a salt and a pepper! :)
Add the garlic and mix together.
Wash hands again and/or use disposable gloves. No biggie on this, just preference!Grab a handful of ghee garlic and slather on the chicken. You can go lighter on the bottom of the chicken as the drippings will have that covered. You can work under the skin but just make sure that the garlic gets spread out. Top with optional rosemary if you like.
Place breast side up in the center of cast iron. Top with a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.
Turn oven down to 400 degrees and put the chicken in the middle rack.
Baste (or spoon the juice from the bottom over the chicken, this will get it skin crispier) every fifteen minutes or so.
A four-pound bird will take roughly an hour and fifteen depending on your oven. Timing is less important than internal chicken temp. The wing should be a bit loose. The internal temp should reach 165. Juices should run clear. :) If the skin on top isn't crispy, you can broil for a few minutes. Don't walk away - the garlic will blacken (which is still pretty tasty)!
Let rest for 10 minutes out of the oven.The drippings at the bottom are full of garlic and ghee flavor and can remedy a dry chicken or just be yummy. Also, later in leftover land, you can make a gravy with it.
P.S. Once you've used what you'd like, save the carcass for a broth!