Skillet Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Potatoes
Unless you’re Jeffrey Garten, roast chicken can sound a little meh on paper, and it so often disappoints at the table. Or so we thought, until we tried Samin Nosrat’s version, which is brined in buttermilk and comes out of the oven with a gorgeously browned, crackling skin and impossibly juicy, tender meat. That was our inspiration for this skillet roast chicken with schmaltzy potatoes, which looks impressive but is foolproof for all skill levels.
The best tip we learned from Nosrat’s recipe, aside from the buttermilk, is to take advantage of your oven’s hot spots. Her method is simple: Since the back corners of the oven tend to run hotter than the center, position the chicken with the legs in the corner. That way, the breast meat—which has a tendency to dry—will come out perfectly cooked at the same time as the thighs and drumsticks.
The potatoes aren’t strictly necessary, but they complete the meal nicely and with little extra effort. And the way they soak up the chicken juices? *Chef’s kiss*
One 3- to 4-pound whole chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ pound baby potatoes, halved
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
1. Season the chicken generously all over with salt. Rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Combine 1 tablespoon kosher salt with the buttermilk. Transfer the chicken to a resealable bag and pour the buttermilk on top. Seal the bag and squish everything around to ensure the chicken is coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to a day. (The longer you brine the chicken, the more flavorful it will be.)
3. About 1 hour before cooking, remove the chicken from the fridge and transfer to a plate; discard the brine. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs together. (This will encourage even cooking.) Preheat the oven to 425°F.
4. Arrange the potatoes in a large oven-safe skillet, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
5. Nestle the chicken on top of the potatoes and transfer to the oven with the legs pointing toward the back left corner. Roast for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 400°F. Rotate the skillet so the legs are facing the back right corner; roast for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.
6. Rest the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.