Recipe courtesy of Melissa Gaman for Food Network Kitchen

Sesame Roast Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cooking a whole chicken in a cast iron skillet gives you the benefit of being able to go from the stove top to the oven in no time! When making this recipe, we suggest taking a few minutes to sear the bottom of the chicken before roasting to ensure that your bird is well-browned all over. You should also spoon the sticky sesame seed sauce over the chicken twice in the last 10-15 minutes of roasting, so it can bond with the chicken and lightly caramelize in the oven.



  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Season the chicken inside and out with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Gently loosen the skin on the breast and legs, taking care not to rip it. Fold the wing tips under the chicken.
  2. Whisk together the gochujang, 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1 teaspoon each honey and soy sauce, the garlic and ginger in a medium bowl; set aside 2 tablespoons of the mixture in a separate dish for the glaze. Rub most of the remaining gochujang mixture all over the outside of the chicken, inside the cavity and under the skin.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, breast-side up, and cook until the bottom starts browning, 3 to 5 minutes. Spoon and rub any remaining gochujang mixture (except the reserved 2 tablespoons) over the chicken, then transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until the chicken is well browned, basting once with the pan drippings, 35 to 40 minutes, tenting the chicken with foil if it starts to get too dark.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a small dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes; let cool. Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons of the toasted sesame seeds into the reserved 2 tablespoons gochujang mixture to make the glaze.
  5. After the chicken has roasted for 35 to 40 minutes, spoon half of the honey–sesame seed glaze on top, gently spreading to cover the legs and breast. Continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers about 170˚ F, 10 to 15 more minutes, spreading the remaining honey–sesame seed glaze on the chicken halfway through. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Put the kimchi in a blender (preferably high speed) along with the rice vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Carefully add 1 tablespoon of the drippings from the skillet. Blend until the sauce is very smooth, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons water if needed to loosen.
  7. Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce, scallions and remaining toasted sesame seeds.