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Yogurt-Rubbed Cast-Iron Roast Chicken

The winter slog of February seems to be the perfect time for a one-pan meal (read: it’s cold and our, or at least my, inspiration is sorely lagging).  This pan-roasted chicken is the basis for 2 recipes in 1 so you’ll really get your money’s worth from a pasture-raised farmers market chicken (obviously any chicken will work nicely here, but you’ll notice a big flavor difference and support your local economy when you’re purchasing closer to home.  I’m a big proponent of getting to know where your food comes from). The yogurt in the marinade (or “brine”) here helps make the meat moist and tender. Use whatever vegetables you have lying around underneath the chicken. The chicken juices will make them all delicious. If you’re gluten-free, nix the bread pieces. If you don’t own a cast-iron pan, a carbon steel pan/skillet or a baking sheet will work just fine too.  The end result is a great streamlined meal that hits balanced nutrient needs and compliments your Enhancewell workouts for muscle recovery and definition.

1 3-4 pound whole chicken, cleaned

1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

kosher salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste

1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced, 4-6 additional cloves, peeled and smashed, for the pan
1-2 teaspoons thyme and/or rosemary and/or marjoram (if you’ve got herbs in your fridge, use them)
1 whole lemon, halved

Underneath the Chicken (any mix of wintry root / hearty vegetables, but below is an example):
1 large rutabaga, chopped or 1 bunch hakurei sweet turnips (and their green tops) , cleaned and halved
1 small onion or 2 shallots, quartered and sliced in half moons

1 leek, white portion only, (save the greens in your freezer for chicken or vegetable stock), or 2-3 spring onions, chopped

1 cup mixed mushrooms, sliced
4-6 small purple or baby potatoes, diced
leftover wholegrain or sourdough bread torn into small chunks. Even 1/4 loaf will do, don’t let it go to waste! If you don’t have bread, feel free to skip it!

1. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine if you have it (tying
the legs together and creating a + shape over the chicken with twine to keep the wings close to the body). Rub butter underneath the skin of the chicken as best you can. Season it generously with salt (like 1 1/2 teaspoons worth) and pepper. Whisk together the yogurt, whey, olive oil, minced garlic and any herbs or fun flavorings. Rub the chicken down with the yogurt mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 385-400F depending on how hot it runs. In a cast-iron skillet or roasting dish, arrange your veg and bread and smashed garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with additional olive oil to coat, squeeze one of lemon over top and nestle in the veg mix.

3. Place the chicken atop of veg and bread, breast side up (or down depending on your school of thought). Squeeze juice from remaining lemon half over top the chicken and shove it and additional herbs sprigs in the chicken cavity. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil. Roast for 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway, until juices run clear and internal

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