Roast chicken is my comfort meal, the first thing I want to cook if I’ve been away from home for a long time. I use many different methods, but Rotisserie Chicken is my favorite. 1 Rotisserie cooking gives you the crispiest skin (my favorite part!), while leaving the meat tender and juicy.
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
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan.)
- Butchers twine
- Instant Read Thermometer
- 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.
Rotisserie Chicken is my comfort meal. Here’s rotisserie chicken in a basic wet brine.
- 2 (4-pound) chickens
- 2 quarts cold water
- 1/2 cup table salt (or 1 cup kosher salt)
- 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
- 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 6 hours)
- Truss and spit the chicken: Remove the chicken from the brine, and pat it dry with paper towels. Fold the wingtips underneath the wings, then truss the chicken. Skewer the chicken on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let the chicken rest at room temperature while the grill pre-heats.
- Set the grill for indirect high heat (425°F or higher): Remove the grill grate, and set up the grill 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. On my Weber Summit, I preheat with all burners on high for ten minutes, then turn off all burners except for the outer burners and light the infrared rotisserie burner.)
- Rotisserie the chicken: Put the spit on the grill, start the motor spinning, and center the drip pan under 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 then remove the trussing twine. Be careful — the spit and forks are blazing hot. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, then carve and 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 to keep the rotisserie motor dry.
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.|
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
It’s a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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