Chicken | Italian

Roast Butterflied Chicken with Italian Chili Butter

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Use a cast iron skillet to roast a whole butterflied chicken to perfection, Italian diavolo-style, with garlic, red chili and butter.

A roasted chicken in a cast iron skillet, with brown crisp skin and red chili flakes in a small dish on the side.

Roasting a whole chicken is probably my number one favorite thing to do with the bird, hands down.

This little chicken is seasoned under the skin with a tasty butter which is flavor-boosted with lots of red chili and garlic, then roasted in a cast iron skillet.

It’s fiendishly good, just like the Italian word for devil — diavolo.

A roasted chicken in a cast iron skillet, with brown crisp skin.

Sometimes I season chicken for roasting with grainy Dijon mustard mixed with some chopped tarragon, making sure to smear plenty of the mixture under the skin.

Other times there’s nothing better than a plain roasted chicken popped into the oven with just salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon.

How to butterfly a chicken

To remove the backbone from a chicken a/k/a “Spatchcock”:

  1. Put the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down.
  2. Cut along the backbone on either side with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.
  3. Remove the bone and discard, or save it to add to homemade chicken stock

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet

You can easily find pre-seasoned cast iron pans but when I bought mine oh-so-many-years ago that wasn’t an option.

Those pans are treasured tools in my kitchen for sure, with a patina that bears witness to half my lifetime of cooking.

The skillet goes from stovetop to oven (and straight to the table, sometimes) which simplifies things even more.

I’ve made everything from pancakes to frittatas to deep-dish pizzas in them, and when I was first learning to cook, my 10-inch pan was the only thing I cooked in aside from a pasta pot.

A roasted sliced chicken in a cast iron skillet, with brown crisp skin and red chili flakes in a small dish on the side.

This chicken is super juicy and just a little spicy, not too much to set your mouth on fire, though.

The warm juices are delicious over tender parsley sprigs, making a softly wilted salad you can serve with toasted crusty bread, pasta or couscous.

Be sure to let the chicken rest 10 – 15 minutes before carving and serving for the best juicy meat.

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Cast Iron Roasted Chicken with Italian Chili Butter

Roast Chicken with Italian Chili Butter

Familystyle Food
An easy recipe for tasty roasted chicken, with Italian “diavolo” seasonings — chili and garlic. Roast in a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet.
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Chicken
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (3-3½ pounds), backbone removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon pressed garlic, 3 – 4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon crushed chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, tough stems trimmed

Instructions 

  • Heat oven to 425 (220 C) degrees.
  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  • Combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, butter, garlic, 1 1½ teaspoons salt, chopped thyme and chili in a small bowl to make a creamy paste. Using your fingers, carefully loosen the skin on the breasts and rub some of the mixture in between the flesh and the skin. Rub the remaining paste all over the outside of the chicken, including a bit in the cavity. Season the skin with the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  • Heat a 10-12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy-duty ovenproof pan over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles and instantly evaporates. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, then lay the chicken in the pan, skin side down.
  • Cook 10 minutes without moving the chicken. The skin should start to turn golden brown – adjust the heat so the pan doesn’t become too hot and burn the skin.
  • Transfer chicken to the oven and roast 30 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken over and roast an additional 15-20 minutes, until the legs wiggle easily, the juices run clear and the internal temperature reads 160 degrees. Let chicken rest at least 10 minutes before carving — remember that it will continue to cook as it sits. Carve into pieces and serve on a platter on a bed of the parsley.

Notes

To remove the backbone from a chicken:
  1. Put the chicken on a cutting board, breast side down.
  2. Cut along the backbone on either side with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife.
  3. Remove the bone and discard, or save it to add to homemade chicken stock

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 613kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 173mg | Sodium: 896mg | Potassium: 467mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2013IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3mg
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Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about making cooking fun and doable, with easy to follow tested recipes and incredibly tasty food!

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