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Old 02-12-2017, 10:57 AM
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QSis QSis is offline
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Default ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

I recently watched two different episodes of America's Test Kitchen where they touted a technique of pre-heating a cast iron pan in a 500 degree oven before continuing on with the recipes, one for chicken, one for steak.

They said that, though cast iron is great for holding heat, it doesn't heat up evenly on top of the stove, so heating it in a hot oven is best.

So, I tried both chicken and steak using their methods below.

I had chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. The chicken was good, the skin was crispy, but it wasn't as great as my mom's method of shaking chicken pieces in a bag of flour, daubing a pat of butter on each piece, seasoning with Bell's, and baking on aluminum foil. And the clean-up of mom's method is easier! Photo of thighs in post #24: http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums...d+chicken+QSis

My steak sear was not particularly impressive. Maybe I should have had a press. I had a flat iron steak, and though it was good, it did NOT have a terrific crust that the one they cooked on TV did. And this method took a lot longer (the half hour of heating the pan) than my regular pan method of heating it on high on the stove top, with less of a char. At least I didn't set off the smoke alarm using the ATK method.

Here's a photo of my regular pan-seared steak: http://www.netcookingtalk.com/forums...62&postcount=1

Note: If you do this, make sure your oven is CLEAN first!

It's fun to try different techniques, and I might try this for a steak again ... but not chicken.

Lee

Crisp Roast Butterflied Chicken with Rosemary and Garlic (ATK)
Put skillet in a cold oven on lowest rack. Set oven to 500 for half hour.
Prepare chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it out a bit. Fold under wing tips.
Season inside with salt and pepper.
Flip chicken over, and pat dry the skin side. Season with S & P.
Place chicken in hot skillet, skin side down, and return to oven. Turn oven down to 450.Roast for half hour.
Flip bird over, and brush skin side with a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic and rosemary. Return to oven for 10 more minutes.Check temp of meat – 175 in the thigh.Remove chicken from pan and let rest for about 15 minutes.

ATK Heated Cast Iron Pan-Seared Steak
Season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper – set aside.
Cast iron skillet in 500 oven for half hour, then put on burner, medium high heat.
2 T. olive oil in pan and heat oil.
Pat steaks dry and season with a little more pepper. Place steaks in pan and turn every 2 minutes, 6 minutes or so, then turn heat down to medium low. Turn steaks once or twice more, until temp of 125 for medium rare.
Let rest, tented. Spread with compound butter.
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Last edited by QSis; 02-12-2017 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:17 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

veddy interstink......

frankly, I have a lot of trouble cooking chicken on the sides of the pan - it keeps falling back onto the pan bottom . . . but that crust looks perfect! the rest is just baking/roasting, no?

so comma , , , imho preheating cast iron in the oven is like: why?
can't speak to electric coils, but using gas I can get cast iron way hotter than I want. I'm sure the top rim of the sides is multiple degrees cooler, and the handle, regardless it works quite well. I simply put some (plaine ole' ordinary) olive oil in the pan, wait until it starts to smoke, move the pan off the gas for 1-2 minutes, then plunk in the object to be browned . . . back on the burner. that way I know the pan is hot hot hot and will sertainly cere....giggle.... or is that sincerely certain . . . dunno. works easy for me.

was the flat iron "not cold" - i.e. out for a while? if it's too cold it can be stiff and may not relax enough to make good contact with the pan.
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Old 02-12-2017, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChowderMan View Post


was the flat iron "not cold" - i.e. out for a while? if it's too cold it can be stiff and may not relax enough to make good contact with the pan.
Good thought, C-Man, but it was out for about 45 minutes, having been salted and peppered.

Their steak had some fat on it, whereas mine did not. Might have been some of the reason for different results.

Lee
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:11 PM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

I give up. message lost comma again.
Go Advanced, click Back - toast.

the grain of that cut does not look like what I get in cyrovac Swift Premium.
from many pix here and elsewhere there are local definitions for 'flat iron' that are not the same.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChowderMan View Post
the grain of that cut does not look like what I get in cyrovac Swift Premium.
That's exactly what I get - cryovac'd Swift Premium!

Helluva good steak! I'm having my third and last meal of it tonight, in a steak and provolone and red onion sandwich.
'
Lee
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Old 02-13-2017, 11:00 AM
ChowderMan ChowderMan is offline
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Default Re: ATK's Cast Iron Pan Chicken and Steak

Swift Premium . . .
so I buttonholed the butcher this AM about flat iron.

it is a particularly delicious cut methinks - it is cut from the shoulder/aka chuck hence the nice fat/flavor.

having peeked at the shelf full of Swift Premium flat irons, my question was:
I always get a flat smooth muscle with the grain almost horizontal - what gives with these round chunky ones?

butcher's opinion: bad cutting.
reason: the flat iron cut is actually a split apart chunk of a single muscle.
we could see cryovac'd pieces that were clearly flat smooth muscle and other pieces that were much more round&chunky. now some of the round one were merely squished up flat pieces, but others he said looked more like an extra thick cut of the (split) side which is not normally sold as flat iron....

so, now I know - there's a quality element to the cutting itself..... look before leaping I suppose - if one just picks up any ole' package from the bin, might not be getting the best execution of the flat iron cut.
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