Smoked Spanish paprika is my secret ingredient.…Whoops. If it’s a secret, I’m not supposed to tell you, right? Never mind – smoked paprika is too good to keep a secret. I love the subtle flavor it brings to food.
I needed a quick rub, because of a warm snap in January. (Warm enough to light a chimney of charcoal without frostbite! Whoo hoo!). I used my secret ingredient in its natural habitat, a rub with flavors from Spain – garlic, thyme and lemon.
The chicken went on the rotisserie, of course – January or no January, if I’m grilling a chicken, I’m rotisserie grilling a chicken. But, no rotisserie? No worries. See the notes section for regular grill-roast chicken instructions.
Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken with Spanish Smoked Paprika Rub
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use Weber Kettle Grill with the Rotisserie Attachment)
- Charcoal Chimney (The Weber Charocal Chimney holds the right amount of charcoal for this recipe)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan or Weber Extra-Large aluminum foil drip pans.)
- Butchers twine
- Instant Read Thermometer
Rotisserie Chicken with Spanish Smoked Paprika Rub recipe – chicken rubbed with my favorite secret ingredient, smoked spanish paprika.
- 1 (4 pound) chicken
Spanish Smoked Paprika Rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt)
- 1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
- 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon minced lemon peel (I used dried, fresh is better)
- Rub the chicken: Mix the Spanish Smoked Paprika rub ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with the rub, inside and out, patting it onto the chicken to help it stick. Gently work your fingers under the skin on the breast, then rub some of the spices directly onto the breast meat. Fold the wingtips under the wings and truss the chicken. Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the chicken rest at room temperature until it is time to grill.
- If you’re planning ahead, use the rub as a dry brine. Four to twenty-four hours before cooking, rub the chicken, put it in a baking dish, and let it rest in the refrigerator. One hour before cooking, remove it from the refrigerator to let it warm up a bit, then continue with trussing.
- Set up the grill for indirect high heat: Set the grill up for indirect high heat with the drip pan in the middle of the grill. For my Weber kettle, I light a chimney starter full of charcoal, wait for it to be covered with ash, then pour it in two equal piles in the charcoal baskets on the sides of the grill, and put the drip pan in the middle, between the baskets.
- Rotisserie grill the chicken: Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered beneath the chicken. Close the lid and cook until the chicken reaches 160°F in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour.
- Serve: Remove the chicken from the rotisserie spit and remove the twine trussing the chicken. Be careful – the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve.
For trussing instructions, see my Rotisserie Grilling: Two Chickens video.
- I used dried minced lemon peel from Penzeys in the rub. If you can’t find dried lemon peel, use fresh lemon peel. (Fresh lemon peel tastes better than dried anyhow.)
- No rotisserie? No worries. Your best option is grilling a butterflied chicken – use the instructions in my grilled butterflied chicken recipe, but substitute the smoked Spanish paprika rub for the dry brine.
- Grill-Roast Chicken: Don’t feel like butterflying the chicken? Set the grill up for indirect high heat as described in step 2, then put the grill grate in the grill, and put the chicken, breast side down, on the grate over the drip pan. Close the lid and cook for 30 minutes, then flip the chicken breast side up (using wads of paper towels to protect your hands), and grill until the chicken measures 160°F in the breast, about 30 more minutes.
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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