Your Oven Floor Is The Key To Saving Time When Cooking Chicken

Roasted chicken is juicy, tender, and often tastier than other cooking methods. It requires planning, however, since it can take approximately 75 to 90 minutes (about 20 minutes per pound) to roast a whole chicken the traditional way. Luckily, there's a creative method for cooking a whole chicken in much less time: Simply place it in a cast iron or heavy bottom skillet and set it on the oven floor to cook. The chicken cooks for around 20 to 30 minutes (depending on the size) and comes out perfectly moist with a crispy layer of skin.

It might feel odd not using the oven racks, but the direct heat from the oven floor not only cooks the chicken faster but produces crispier skin, while the hot air roasts the bird to perfection. Cooking the chicken this way is great for quick family meals that are healthy and delicious. You can even add vegetables to the skillet to roast alongside it. To deliver tasty, succulent chicken there are just a few preparation steps to take before cooking.

Helpful tips for roasting chicken on the oven floor

If you want your chicken to turn out perfectly, following a few useful tips will ensure it cooks properly in a short amount of time. Firstly, choose a chicken on the smaller side because, of course, the less surface area the less time it takes to cook. Cornish game hens, which are typically around 1 to 2 pounds, work great for this method, but any whole chicken works as long as it can fit in your skillet.

Another way to speed up the cooking process is to spatchcock or butterfly the chicken, which means removing the backbone so that it lies flat. Spatchcocked chickens are also easier to season and deliver crispy skin that everyone loves. It takes some practice, but the basic process involves laying the chicken breast side down on a cutting board and using kitchen shears (or a chef's knife) to cut along each side of the backbone. Once removed, you can flip it over and push down on the breastbone to flatten it.

Finally, the trick for preventing your roast chicken from drying out and creating a delicious savory flavor is to brine it before cooking. You can do this by coating it in a mixture of salt and herbs, and then putting it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. When you take it out of the refrigerator, let it warm to room temperature before putting it in the preheated oven.