Saturday, October 3, 2015

Roasting a Chicken in a Woodburning Cookstove

I mentioned in my last post that I had several blog posts started.  This is not one of those posts, but I want to share what we had for our noon dinner today because it was so simple and turned out so delicious.

Usually, when I roast a chicken, I use my aunt Meme's ancient Wagner Ware "Drip-Drop Baster" roaster which had belonged to her mother and undoubtedly saw the inside of a woodburning cookstove's oven many times.  I'm not going to completely abandon that method of roasting chicken, but when we were at the Dutchman's Store in Cantril, Iowa, this spring, I purchased the Crow Canyon Home red enamelware roasting pan that you see in the pictures below.  I hadn't used it until today, however.

Because the fire in the Margin Gem was already burning, I added a bunch of small sticks and pieces of bark because I wanted to get the oven up to at least 400 degrees.  Roasting whole poultry at a high initial heat causes the skin to brown beautifully, and that was the goal.

After the fire was roaring, I placed the whole chicken in the center of the roasting pan and surrounded it with some small red potatoes that we had purchased at our local farmers' market this summer.  I then added several pearl onions from our garden, some celery stalks, and sections of whole carrots.  Next, I took a whole bulb of garlic and separated it into its individual, peeled cloves and dispersed them among the vegetables.  Into the cavity of the chicken, I placed the leaves of the celery stalks, two of the garlic cloves, and one whole pearl onion.

I sprinkled some Lawry's Seasoned Salt, several pinches of poultry seasoning that I also purchased at our local farmers' market from Wild Rose Farm, and some freshly ground pepper over the whole kit and caboodle.

The chicken and vegetables seasoned and ready to be roasted.
Everything was then ready to be placed into a quick oven.

I decided to keep the oven running hot for the duration of the roasting time, so I used a lot of small sticks and pieces of wood.  I added a little boiling water from the teakettle about midway through, and in an hour and half, our dinner was done.  Nancy and I both thought it was excellent.

When I roast a chicken this way again, I will try basting the vegetables and the bird several times during the cooking.  This should make the meat even more flavorful and moist, and I may consider adding some fruit to the vegetables.  What did take a lot of time was peeling all of the pearl onions and garlic cloves, but using wedges from a larger onion would speed that process considerably.

Let me know how you roast a chicken in your wood cookstove by utilizing the comments section below!  I always enjoy correspondence from my readers.


  1. So good to see you posting again. Not quite fire season in coastal South Carolina so I'm a bit envious.

  2. Thanks, Tim and Denise! More to come!

  3. Not a chicken but my late husband used to roast turkey in a wok. Kept it very moist.

  4. I'm headed up to our cabin in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Wed. and will be roasting chicken in our wood cookstove for Thanksgiving dinner. Nothing better!! I was glad to find a blog dedicated to this pastime. All my baking in the wood cookstove has been done by trial and error and learning the hard way. Looking forward to exploring all your blog posts! Happy Thanksgiving! Kate