Whole roast chicken is my comfort meal. It's the first thing I want to cook if I've been away from home for a long time. I use many different methods, but this one is my favorite*. Rotisserie cooking gives you the crispiest skin (my favorite part!), while leaving the meat tender and juicy.
*Diane LOVES the chicken wings that this recipe gives you. I usually cook two chickens, just so I might get one of the wings
The only problem with this recipe is that it's even more weather dependent than grilling usually is - you need a dry day, so you don't short out the rotisserie motor. Or electrocute yourself. I was having my usual luck with the weather when it comes to this blog - the forecast was for a high 40*F, intermittent rain, and a wind advisory of 20 to 30 MPH.*
*I was sitting in front of my computer, playing amatuer meteorologist, and using my fingers as a high-tech measuring device to estimate the duration of rain bands. "If I wait until this band of rain passes, I've got (uses fingers on weather channel radar animation) about a two hour window. Now as long as the wind doesn't get above 20mph, I should be OK."
Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken
Cook time: 60 minutes
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment* (I used a Weber Summit 650 with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here it is.)
**Did I mention it was 40*F, with a threat of rain and a wind advisory?
- Pot or other container that can hold two chickens. I use a Rubbermaid 8 quart food service container that I bought at Sam's club, but a large stockpot will work as well.
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9"x11", or whatever fits your grill)
- 2 whole chickens, 3.5lbs to 4.5 lbs
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/2 cup table salt (or 1 cup kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
(See the basic technique: Rotisserie Poultry for details on each of these steps.)
1. Brine chicken: Make the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar in the water. Submerge the chicken in the brine, and refrigerate for 4 hours (if you're pressed for time, brine for at least 1 hour, but no more than 5)
2. Prep chicken: Drain chicken, pat dry, and (optional) run finger under skin of the breast, so it will crisp up more.
3. Truss the chicken. (See basic technique post for a link to Alton Brown demonstrating this if you need it.)
4. Skewer chicken: Skewer chicken on the spit - get it on there tight! I like to put one set of prongs under the breast of the first chicken, then the other skewer through the thighs. Then, I put the second bird on upside down compared to the first bird. This makes the whole spit more balanced, which eases the load on the rotisserie motor. Also, it looks cool, I think.*
*Yes, I'm a nerd.
5. Prepare the grill: Set your grill up for rotisserie cooking at high heat. For my Weber Summit, this means turning the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to high, and turning the infrared burner to high. Then I put my drip pan in the middle, over the unlit burners. (See here for more rotisserie setup details.)
6. Cook the chicken: Put the spit on the grill, and turn on the rotisserie motor. Cook with the lid closed. It should take 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. A 4 lb bird should be done in about an hour. It's better to go by temperature, though - you want the breast at the thickest part to read 160*F to 165*F; start checking about 15 minutes before you think the bird will be done.
7. Serve: Remove skewer from grill, remove chicken from skewer, let rest at least 15 minutes, serve.
Variations on this recipe. The recipe above is the essentials of the dish, which is how I prefer to make it. You can change things up a bit by doing any of the following:
- Put half a lemon and herbs (a bunch of the "Simon & Garfunkel" herbs -whatever you've got of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) in the cavity before trussing the bird
- Cut a sprig of Thyme in half, and put each half under the skin of the breast. (Work your finger under the skin carefully, to make sure you don't tear it, then slide the thyme sprig in.)
- BBQ rub - Sprinkle barbecue rub all over, including in the cavity, and rub some under the skin of the breast as described above.
*Weather: My Weber Summit 650 worked just fine in 20 MPH winds, with a light rain through some of the cooking. I had to use a mixing bowl as a rain hat for the rotisserie motor, just to keep it dry.
Rotisserie recipes on DadCooksDinner
Rotisserie poultry basic technique
*Weber Summit grill with infrared rotisserie - when you can afford the best gas grill
*Or, you're just nuts when it comes to grills, like me...
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.
It's a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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