Cast Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken (Aka ' Picnic Chicken ')

READY IN: 1hr 5mins


  • 1
    whole chicken (no more than 4 pounds)
  • Spice Mixture
  • 34
    tablespoon kosher salt
  • 14
    teaspoon smoked salt (we tested Salish alderwood smoked salt from Washington state)
  • 1
    tablespoon salt-free garlic powder
  • 12
    tablespoon dried parsley (or other dried herb of choice, read *Note)
  • 12


  • *Note: the original recipe specified dried thyme.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • If using a whole chicken/spatchcocking: Place chicken on the cutting board breast side down. Use kitchen shears to cut down the length of the spine on both sides. Discard the spine.
  • Turn the bird breast side up. Gripping the 2 cut sides where the spine used to be, open up the bird, pressing down firmly at the center to flatten it.
  • For chicken pieces: Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken pieces and brown on both sides for 5 minutes each side.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the salt, garlic powder, thyme (or other dried herb of choice) and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over the entire chicken.
  • Set a large cast-iron skillet on a burner over medium-high. When the skillet it hot, add the chicken breast (or chicken pieces) side down. Let the chicken brown for 5 minutes, then use tongs to carefully flip the bird so the breast side is up. Brown the other side 5 minutes.
  • Set the skillet in the oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the thickest part reaches 165 degrees. Depending on if you use a whole chicken, bone-in chicken pieces or boneless, roasting time will vary. It only took about 25 minutes for our chicken pieces to roast all the way through.
  • Either serve immediately or let cool and refrigerate for use in a picnic.