This is another great recipe to put that cast iron pan to good use. Inspired by my Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken recipe, this Orange Roasted Chicken is packed with just as much flavor. Browning the chicken in the cast iron and roasting it in the same pan ensures that you don’t lose any flavor.
Since we want the chicken to develop a nice brown color, I didn’t roast the chicken in the beer. Instead, I used the beer as a brine. A beer brine is a great way to flavor meat and keep it moist during the cooking process. Next Thanksgiving, I even plan to brine my Turkey.
I just need to find a bucket large enough for the turkey.
For this recipe, I used an Alaskan White Ale to brine the chicken. If you can’t find Alaskan White, pick a wheat ale with citrus flavors. It will really help bring this dish together.
Even though I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you may use any type of chicken (whole chicken, chicken thighs, bone-in chicken breasts, or whatever is on sale at the grocery store). You will just have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. However, this is really the perfect recipe for chicken with the skin on. Browning the skin in the cast iron skillet will add even more flavor to the dish, while keeping the meat nice and moist.
I used a large 13 1/4 inch Cast Iron Skillet, which has more then enough room for 4 large chicken breasts. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a regular skillet and transfer the chicken to a baking dish before placing it in the oven.
This is a really simple weeknight meal. If you place the chicken in the brine in the morning, you will only have to quickly brown and roast the chicken in the evening. Plus, any leftover chicken will be perfect for lunch the following day.
Serve the chicken over a rice pilaf or alongside roasted vegetables. You can even add a few onions and parboiled potatoes to the cast iron skillet for a complete dish.
Be sure to head over to my Lemon and Garlic Roasted Chicken for another easy, weeknight meal!
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (with or without skin)
- 1 to 2 bottles wheat ale
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 1 tbsp black peppercorn
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 oranges, sliced
- juice of ½ orange
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- First, brine the chicken by placing the chicken breasts in a large ziplock bag. Add the kosher salt, garlic, and peppercorn. Add enough beer to cover the chicken. You may need to use two bags if the chicken breasts are large. Place the bags in a large baking dish and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
- After the 8 to 12 hours, remove the chicken breasts and rinse thoroughly with water. Pat dry.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a dash of olive oil, if needed. Add the sliced oranges to the hot pan and cook until browned on both sides. Remove the slices and place on a clean plate.
- In the same hot pan, add the chicken breasts. When the chicken starts to turn a golden brown, flip the chicken over and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. The chicken should still be raw in the center. Turn off the heat.
- Add the orange slices back to the cast iron pan with the chicken. Squeeze a little juice from the orange over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the chicken and add the rosemary sprigs to the cast iron pan. Place in the preheated oven.
- Roast until the chicken is cooked through with an internal temperature of about 165 degrees, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
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