A golden brown rotisserie chicken makes the perfect meal. Accompany it with a creamy potato salad and you have the makings of an excellent dish. The huge commercial rotisserie ovens are able to cook 50 birds at once, but you can also cook your own chicken this way once you know how. Rotisserie cooking is a type of roasting. Roasting usually means putting something in the oven to cook uncovered, but put the chicken on the barbeque with the lid down and the dry heat is very similar, only you will also get that lovely smoky aroma and flavor in the chicken.
The fat drains off the chicken as it cooks, reducing both the fat and calorie content. You will need a rotisserie attachment for your barbeque to make this recipe, as well as enough coals to run the barbeque for a few hours. Basting the chicken on the spit can lead to burning or flare-ups, which is why a marinade or rub might be a better idea. Coating the skin will make it flavorful but applying a rub or using a marinade means you can get all that lovely flavor right into the meat underneath. Rotisserie chicken is incredible served fresh from the barbeque, although the ones we buy from the store have often spend hours under a warming lamp and lost their fresh flavor.
Delicious Basting Liquid
To make a mixture for basting, you will need both oil and flavoring, and in this recipe we are using olive oil, lemon and rosemary. The oil holds in the moisture and encourages the exterior to brown, while the lemon and rosemary add a lovely taste to the meat.
The chicken plumps up a bit on the barbeque when it is nearly done and then it goes back down. This brief plumping offers a clue that it is nearly done, but you should test it before serving. Take a reading in 2 different places using a meat thermometer, testing the thigh right above the drumstick and the center of the breast, because these are the densest places and take the most time to cook. If the reading is 180 degrees F take the chicken off the barbeque using a fireproof glove because the metal rod is going to be very hot indeed.
Securing the Bird on the Rotisserie
The chicken is stuffed with a lemon, potato, onion, apple or similar item, because else there is nothing much for the rod to hold on to since a chicken is hollow once you have prepared it. A hollow bird risks coming loose on the rotisserie, and that is not what you want. Lemon is the best thing to use unless you do not like the flavor, then use a potato, apple or onion instead.
To truss it, have the bird on a board with the legs pointing towards you and wrap butcher’s twine around the middle past the drumsticks. Pull it tightly and cross the drumsticks over, then run the twine down under each one and pull it tight. Run it down the sides of the bird where the legs and thighs meet. Catch the wings under the twine then flip the bird over and pull the twine tighter. Finally tie it under the bird’s neck.
- 1 fresh chicken
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
- 1 lemon
- ½ cup lemon juice
- For the Baste:
- ½ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
- Set up the rotisserie over the barbeque, following the directions on the package.
- Light the barbeque, with the coals banked on one side.
- Remove the insides from the chicken and discard any loose skin.
- Insert the lemon into the chicken.
- Thread the chicken on the rotisserie rod and tighten the screws to secure it.
- Truss the chicken with butcher's string if necessary.
- Turn on the motor and cook the bird indirectly (not right over the coals) on the barbeque.
- Do not have the bird right over the flames else you risk flare-ups.
- Combine the basting ingredients and baste the bird after about 20 minutes on the rotisserie.
- Keep basting it every 20 minutes until the bird is nearly done.
- The bird will take about 25 minutes per pound to cook through.
- Take the bird off the heat when the internal temperature is 180 degrees F.
- Let it rest for 10 minutes, then remove the bird from the rotisserie rod and serve.
Few barbeque sights are as impressive as a whole roasted chicken. Although the lid is down while you are cooking this one, lift it to peek at the finished bird and you will be impressed by the crispy, golden brown skin and you will also love the aroma this offers. This recipe makes it easy to cook your own rotisserie chicken. You will need a few accessories such as a rotisserie attachment for your barbeque, and of course the barbeque itself, enough coal to keep it running for a few hours and a fireproof glove so you can handle the rotisserie rod (which can reach 300 degrees F) without burning your hands.
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