Roast Chicken and Cabbage

My friend Kelly sent me a link to a Seattle Times article a couple of weeks ago. She sent me the article because it had a review for five different recipes, focaccia being one of them. I wanted to make the focaccia, but I got distracted by a recipe for roast chicken – the idea dreamed up by The New Yorker’s foodwriter Helen Rosner. I don’t keep up with twitter or instagram, so I never see these things when they are trending. But the roast chicken looked so easy and amazing, I just had to try it.

All you need is a head of cabbage, a chicken, a lemon, some olive oil (I used olive oil instead of butter), salt and pepper. Fresh herbs like rosemary are a bonus. You don’t have to baste the chicken, you don’t have to do much of anything at all! The first time I made it, I was in a hurry, so I didn’t even really read the recipe correctly. I should have chopped the cabbage into wedges, but instead I just chopped it up into pieces and put it into an oiled cast iron skillet. It all still came out really so so good. I texted my friend Kelly to tell her that I had made the chicken instead of the focaccia, and she texted me back that she had made the chicken just the night before. Hehe. Great minds.

Kelly’s roast chicken – with potatoes and cabbage

The second time I made it, I did cut the cabbage into thick slices, and placed them on the bottom of the skillet, fitting them like puzzle pieces, and I was able to fit more cabbage, basically the entire thing, into the skillet that way, which is great, because the more cabbage you can squeeze into the pan, the better. The cabbage becomes caramelized and oh so yummy; it is really the star performer here. And I made thin spaghetti noodles to go with the chicken and cabbage. The leftovers were divine.

Kind of like the best chow mein ever.

Roasted Chicken with Cabbage

(Helen Rosner’s recipe)

  • 1 whole roaster chicken
  • 1 head green cabbage
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven** to 450°
  2. Lightly oil the inside of a cast iron skillet***
  3. Cut the cabbage into thick slices and place in the skillet, tightly fitting in as much as you can.
  4. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, and place the lemon halves and herbs in the cavity of the chicken. Rub outside of chicken with olive oil (or butter), then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with more rosemary if desired. Place chicken on top of the bed of cabbage.
  5. Put chicken/cabbage/skillet in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes per pound (a five pound chicken will take about 75 minutes to bake). When baking time is up, turn oven down to 425° and bake for ten minutes more.
  6. Remove from oven and let chicken rest for about fifteen minutes before serving. This gives you enough time to boil some pasta to go with!

**An oven thermometer is a great thing to have so that you know your oven is heating properly to the correct temperature.

***If you are using a cast iron skillet, you may want to skip the lemon, as the acidity in the lemon juice might damage your pan’s seasoning. You can put an onion in your chicken instead, or use a different type of roasting pan.



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