Tonight I’m cooking my husband’s favorite chicken meal… Rotisserie Chicken! When we got married 10 yrs ago someone fabulous and brilliant family member gave us a rotisserie. We had great dreams of using it for fish, kabobs, pork roasts…. and have since used it only for rotisserie chicken. Yet we will mourn it’s passage when the amazing rotisserie eventually wears out. You can get one at amazon or Williams Sonoma <a href=”https://www.amazon.com/Cuisinart-CVR-1000-Vertical-Countertop-Rotisserie/dp/B001RNG422/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=cuisinart+rotisserie&qid=1557960340&s=gateway&sr=8-3“>amazon link</a> The key to ahmazing rotisserie chicken is the marinade. In order to fully appreciate the beauty of the marinade you must remember you don’t have to measure a thing. Too much of one thing is no big deal in this… cause it’s all good on the chicken. Ideally you’d marinate it overnight but really… I don’t get to do that often. I’m just not that together. A few hours is ok. Overnight the flavors really penetrate the chicken so that the entire chicken is permeated with rosemary, thyme and lemon… not bad eh? Here’s what you’ll want:
1 lemon (preferrably organic as you’ll be zesting the rind) and a zesting implement
4 short bunches of thyme (think of something the length of your hand)
4 sprigs of rosemary (similar length of sprig to the thyme)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
tsp of salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c of balsamic vinegar
1/3 c of olive oil
So here’s what I do: I zest the lemon peel into my stick blender’s mixing cup. Zesting always makes a mess at my house so I usually have to scrape up zesty bits from the general vicinity of my container. Strip the leaves of the rosemary and thyme into the container. To do this hold the tip of the rosemary and pinch with your fingers gently pulling towards the larger end of the stem. This will pull the majority of the leaves off the stem and leave you with an empty stem. Wheee! not hard eh? Works great for thyme too. Peel and lightly smash garlic cloves. I always add extra at my house because we love garlic but if you don’t… go towards 2 cloves of garlic instead. Pour in about 1/4 c of balsamic vinegar this is more or less. If you’ve bartended think of it like pouring two small shots, if you haven’t think of it like three glugs. Yep I measure like Jamie Oliver… cause he’s awesome. Then you pour in about 6 glugs of olive oil. Now bust that stick blender out and whiz it till it emulsifies. Fancy word for it blending all together and turning a light tan color. Bam! done! pour over your chicken and either put it in a ziploc back or a bowl. Try to rotate it in the marinate and get the chicken all nicely slimed– ahem covered–in the marinade. It’s best to rotate the chicken now and then in the marinade but if you forget it’ll still be ok.
How to cook the bird:
No matter how you cook the chicken you really should take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature prior to cooking. There are all kinds of sciency reasons why but end state is that it cooks more evenly and doesn’t dry out the breast meat. Either preheat your oven to 350 F while the bird is coming to room temperature or get your rotisserie out. For the rotisserie. Truss your bird put it on the stand and place it in the rotisserie at 400 for 1 hr 10 min. Be sure to let it rest for about 15 min before serving. It really makes the meat juicier. For the oven: you have several ways to cook it. You can put it breast down and cook it that way. It will keep the breast meat tender but you won’t get that crispy delicious skin on large parts of the chicken. Alternatively you can take your roasting pan and turkey rack and do a slow roll rotisserie. Think 20 min breast down, 10 min one leg up, 10 min other leg up and then finish with breast up till it’s done.
How to tell it’s done: you can go with taking the temperature like the FDA recommends or you can go all kinds of crazy and go for the Liz method. Learned from my pops. Poke a sharp knife into the meat and watch the juices. If they run pink.. it’s not ready yet. If the juices run clear you are good to go. If they’re a teeny bit pink the chicken will continue to cook as it rests and you should be good.
Tips and tricks:
-if the chicken is huge poke holes into the chicken leg along the bone and in between the thigh and the body.
-If you’re nervous brine baby brine! You should brine the chicken for about 2 hrs. pour 1/2 c of coarse salt into a container and then pour in about 3 cups of water into the container . Still to melt the salt and then put the chicken in the container. Now fill the container up with cold water and put in the fridge for about 2 hrs. Rinse the chicken and put marinade on it. The brine will break down the breast me and make it more tender and juicier. It’s more forgiving this way and even if you overcook the chicken a bit the meat isn’t dust dry…. but it takes precious time and many don’t have the energy.
I’d love to hear what you think of the recipe!