Roasting - Technique Series with Michael Ruhlman

Le Creuset Technique Series with Michael Ruhlman

Roasting: Chicken with Rustic Sauce

In the fourth installment of The Le Creuset Technique Series with Michael Ruhlman, Michael demonstrates the best and easiest way to make a classic roast chicken in a Le Creuset cast iron roaster.

Make It at Home: Chicken with Rustic Sauce
Roast Chicken with Rustic Sauce

Serves: 4

  • Ingredients
  • Chicken:
  • One 3- or 4-pound chicken
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lemon and/or 1 medium onion, quartered

  • Rustic Sauce:
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)


An hour before cooking the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and rinse it. Cut off the wing tips and add them, along with the neck if you have it, to the pan in which you will roast the bird. Truss it or stuff it with the lemon and/or onion. Salt the chicken and set it on a paper towel-lined plate.

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Set the oven on convection if that is an option.

Put the chicken in the roasting pan and slide it into the hot oven.

After an hour, check the color of the juices. If they run red, return the chicken to the oven and check again in 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving it.

To make the sauce, remove the chicken from the pan to a carving board, ideally one that will catch the juices. Allow any skin that touches the pan to remain. Place the pan over high heat and cook the skin for a minute. The juices will cook down and stick to the bottom of the pan.

Pour off all but 1 or 2 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Add the onion and carrot, and stir with a flat-edged spoon. Cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the caramelized bits. Cook all the wine off (the fat will begin to crackle). Continue to cook until the onion and carrot are caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot water to deglaze the pan again, and let the water cook down completely. When the crackling begins, stir the onion and carrot until they become nicely caramelized. Add another cup of hot water and cook until reduced by about two-thirds.

While the sauce is reducing, separate the legs from the chicken. You can add any juices that have accumulated on the carving board to the pan sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon and the mustard if you wish. Carve the chicken and arrange it on plates. Holding back the solids in the pan, pour the sauce over the chicken, or spoon it over.

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