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Cast Iron Baked Chicken (Courtesy of Cooks Country)

Dan B

Starting the baking of the chicken in a hot cast iron pan yields crispy and juicy pieces... the pan drippings are a treat unto themselves


  • 1 – Chicken, broken down into eight pieces (2 split breasts, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 2 wings with wingtips discarded), trimmed of excess fat
  • Spice rub: thoroughly mix the following
    • 2 - teaspoons paprika
    • 2 - teaspoons salt
    • 1 - teaspoon pepper
    • ½ - teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ - teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 2 - tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 - sprigs fresh thyme

  1. Put a cold 12” cast iron skillet into a cold oven. Preheat both to 450 F
  2. Pat dry chicken pieces and season with spice rub
  3. When heated to 450 F, remove pan add butter and thyme
  4. Set chicken pieces in pan skin side down, return to oven for 15 minutes
  5. Flip chicken pieces over, bake another 15 mins or until breast is 160 F, thighs 175 F
  6. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes
  7. Stir up pan drippings and use as a sauce for baked chicken
I did something like that with my combo cooker. The main difference is I seared my chicken a little on the stove before putting it in the oven. Then I put BBQ sauce on it and covered it with the deep skillet (forming a dome cooker). I was very happy with the results.
The recipe is easy enough so as to be virtually foolproof. While the seasoning and high heat cook result in flavorful and visually appealing chicken, my experience is that it does not necessarily result in the crispy skin the ATK recipe promises. It does, however, result in very juicy chicken, both light and dark meat. You can also purchase already cut up fryers for a little more money and trim to your liking. Or if skin-on chicken breasts are on sale, that's another option. If on the smaller side, they will be done in 22-24 minutes total.

The basic seasoning from common pantry ingredients works well. Experiment with other seasoning blends. For me, Pride of Szeged Chicken Rub has always been a winner.