Roast Chicken with Schmaltzy Brussels Sprouts
Come for the perfectly cooked chicken, stay for the schmaltzy brussels sprouts that are the true star of the show.
- 4 lb whole chicken
- 2 lbs brussels sprouts
- 1/2 TBSP seasoned salt
- 5 TBSP butter (unsalted)
- 1 TBSP diamond crystal kosher salt (1/2 TBSP if using a different brand)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 2 shallots, halved (or 1 medium onion)
- 2 springs rosemary (optional)
Preheat your oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and remove any innards or giblets if included. Brush the outside of the chicken with 1 TBSP melted butter, then season the whole chicken generously with salt and pepper, making sure to get under the skin too. Set aside.
Brush the bottom of an oven safe pan (I used my 10.25" cast iron) with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking. Trim the stem end off all the brussels sprouts and arrange them open-end facing up in the pan as close together as possible. Cut the largest ones in half if needed to create a flat, even surface about 1/2" high for the chicken to rest on. Season the surface of the brussels sprouts generously with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken on top of the brussels sprouts with its legs facing away from the handle of the pan. Stuff the inside with the shallots, lemon, and rosemary, and tie its legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings behind its back so they don't pop out.
For even browning, arrange the chicken in the oven so that the pan is in the back right corner with the legs pointing toward the corner and the handle of the pan points toward the center of the oven. You're going to adjust the pan's placement in the oven twice during cooking. Each time you move the pan in the oven, spoon some of the remaining butter over the chicken and brussels sprouts. After 20 minutes, move the pan so that it's in the back left corner of the oven, with the chicken's legs pointing into that corner. Cook an additional 20 minutes. Move the chicken to the middle of the oven for the final 20-30 minutes, tenting it with foil or dropping the temperature to 425°F if the chicken is browning too much.
The chicken is done when a thermometer inserted at the deepest part of the breast reads 155°F and at 165°F at the deepest part of the thigh. Remove the bird from the pan to a board to rest 10-15 minutes. Stir the brussels sprouts and return them to the oven for 5 minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve with the brussels sprouts on the side. Squeeze the juices from the lemon inside the chicken over the dish right before serving.
- Inspired by Helen Rosner and Smitten Kitchen.
- If your chicken is bigger or smaller than the one I used, simply adjust cooking times accordingly — for a 3 lb chicken, start checking for doneness after 45 minutes. For a 5 lb chicken, you may need to remove the brussels sprouts early and let the bird continue cooking for another 20 minutes.
- If you don't have seasoned salt, regular salt under the skin is fine.