I don’t have many memories of my grandfather on my dad’s side because he died when I was still very young. One vivid memory I do have of him is the way he cooked chickens over a rotisserie. It was so many years ago, but when I close my eyes and go back there I can hear the whining sound of the motor slowly turning the chickens while the drippings sizzled as they hit the hot coals. Mmmm mmmm, I can smell the roasting chicken while I write this and it is making me very hungry! This rotisserie herb chicken recipe takes me right back to my childhood.
For my recent birthday, my wife and mother in law gave me a rotisserie kit for my Weber Kettle. It has become one of my favorite grilling tools. For the rotisserie trial run, I cooked a 12 pound pork butt that later became my best pulled pork to date. I served the pulled pork at my granddaughter’s first birthday party and it was a huge hit. I fell in love with my new toy right away. Since then, I have done 4 chickens (2 at a time) which has brought back those childhood memories. There is also something caveman-ish about meat turning over the fire and coals that I am drawn to. It brings out my inner knuckle-dragger I guess.
Another thing I am drawn to is fresh food and herbs. Things are going along nicely in the herb garden so I thought I would give these chickens a nice rub down with herbs fresh from the garden. According to the feedback I got from my people, the chickens came out perfect with a great herb smell and flavor. The key to the flavor is breaking the skin loose from the breast meat and putting a nice coating of the rub between the skin and meat.
When I grill I try to make sure to make enough to have leftovers to use for other meals during the week as life can get busy. In this case, I did two good size organic, coastal range chickens. That would be enough for dinner for the wife and I with a chicken and a half left over for the rest of the week. The chickens were resting and I was finishing up the Artichokes, Radicchio, and green onions on the grill when the phone rang. My stepson, who lives nearby, was out walking the baby and asked if they could swing by. He must have smelled the roasted chickens! Julie told him to call our daughter in law, who was on the way home from work, to tell her to stop by for dinner. So we had a nice little family dinner and one chicken was history!
The second chicken was as good and in some ways better the next day. I think that was due to the added flavor of the herbs penetrating into the meat even more while in the refrigerator. At least that is my theory and I am sticking to it! There is a good chance going forward that I will be doing chickens on the rotisserie every week. They are just sooooo tasty.
If you do not own a rotisserie for your grill, gas or charcoal, I suggest you pick one up soon. I do not believe you will taste a more evenly cooked, juicy chicken. I am looking forward to cooking all kinds of other meats on mine. Stay tuned for more rotisserie posts.
Until next time, Happy Grilling!
|Rotisserie Herb Chicken|| |
- 1 - 4-5 Lb whole chicken
- ½ - yellow onion (cut in half)
- ½ - lemon (cut in half) + zest
- 1 tablespoon – rosemary, chopped + a sprig
- 1 tablespoon – thyme, chopped + a sprig
- 1 tablespoon – sage, chopped + a sprig
- 1 teaspoon – granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon – sea salt
- ½ teaspoon – fresh ground black pepper
- - Prepare grill for indirect high heat cooking.
- - Remove giblets from chicken, if present, rinse the chicken and pat dry.
- – Stuff the onion pieces in the cavity of the chicken
- - Zest the lemon and set aside the zest. Stuff the 2 lemon pieces in the cavity of the chicken
- – Stuff a sprig each of rosemary, sage, and thyme into the cavity of the chicken
- – Make the rub by placing the chopped rosemary, sage, and thyme into a mortar and pestle along with the lemon zest, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Mash until ingredients are well combined into a moist rub.
- – Work a finger between breast skin and breast meat of each breast to separate the two. Apply half the rub mixture under the skin.
- – Truss the chicken with butchers string and tuck the wing tips under.
- – Brush the chicken with a thin coat of olive oil and apply the remaining rub to the outside.
- – Secure the chicken to the spit with spit forks and attached spit to prepared grill. Turn on rotisserie motor and cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (internal temperature of the chicken at the thickest part of the breast should be 155°F-160F°)
- – Remove the spit from the grill and remove chickens from the spit (skewer) as soon as possible. This will prevent the heat in the spit from continuing to cook the chicken. Be sure to wear 2 very good BBQ mitts to do this to prevent burning your hands, as the spit will be very hot at this point.
- – Let the chicken rest 10-15 minutes, carve and serve.
If you are interested in the rotisserie kit, here is a link to it on Amazon (which is where Julie got mine)