Over the years we’ve had a lot of guests ask how they can recreate their favorite Yellowbelly Chicken menu items at home. We’re always happy to share our recipes, tips and tricks to get you cooking. Talking about our food is a great opportunity to highlight the level of quality and care that go into what we make.
There is no secret recipe or mystery ingredient we can’t share. In fact it’s the opposite. The real “Special Sauce” of Yellowbelly Chicken is that we start with all-natural ingredients of the highest quality and cook from scratch with chef-driven technique.
A whole roast chicken makes for the perfect fall family meal and a great recipe to begin with. At Yellowbelly our Iron Skillet Roasted Chicken, is a two-day process from brine to roast, so we’ve included some time saving tricks. With some practice and preparation the whole process is incredibly easy and fast.
Start with a 3-3½ Lb chicken
To make a great chicken dinner at home begin with a great chicken. We recommend buying a free-range chicken, preferably “air-chilled” bird. Air-chilled chicken has tender meat with more natural flavor and the skin will get nice and crisp.
If time allows, we recommend brining your bird a day in advance. At Yellowbelly our “Green Seasoning” brine is: thyme, bay leaves, marjoram, allspice, cinnamon, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, green onion, and white onion. We blend these ingredients with salt and water and marinate all of our chickens overnight.
For a quick version at home start with a basic brine, 4 tablespoons of salt per 1 quart (4 cups) of water. Add whatever herbs and aromatics you may have already in your fridge or spice cabinet. If you plan on using onion, garlic or peppers in another dish, those scraps go a long way and eliminate waste.
In a large bowl cover the chicken with brine and refrigerate.
Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Using paper towels, thoroughly pat the bird dry inside and out. The chicken should be nice and dry or it will steam rather than brown. Tuck the wing tips in behind the bird. Set the chicken in skillet with the breast up, season with a few healthy pinches of salt and pepper and place the skillet in your preheated oven.
After an hour your bird should be fully cooked with a crispy skin and juicy interior.
Let your bird “rest” for 10 minutes to even out the cooking and to cool down enough to handle.
Tips and Tricks
An Iron skillet is the perfect tool for the job as it will help your bird crisp nicely and keep the rendered fat from burning. But if you don’t have one at home, any large skillet will do.
Try adding some carrots or potatoes to the skillet halfway through cooking. Use a small dice to even out the cooking time.
Super Speed tip! Sometimes you don’t have time to brine your bird. This recipe can work in a hurry too. Simply rinse and dry your raw bird then season generously with salt and pepper.
Try stuffing the cavity with a few stems of your favorite herbs. You can see in the photos we used rosemary and garlic. Guaranteed to make the house smell great!
For a nice variation try adding a cut lemon to the bird cavity during roasting.
When you pull your chicken from the oven to rest, try sautéing some greens in a little of the fat left behind in the skillet.