Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Real Rotisserie Chicken

I’ve been wanting to put a chicken on the spit for a while and the day had finally arrived.  I put “real” in the title, because most of the recipes I found cook it in the oven, on the grill, or in a slow cooker so I have to chuckle when a rotisserie is not involved in cooking rotisserie chicken.  I would like to have used a smaller, younger chicken (4# or less), but all we could find were 5½ pounders so being a little tough was a possibility.

I first brined the bird for about 20 hours using this recipe I found on Dinner AtThe Zoo.

8 cups water
1/2 cup kosher salt - do not use table salt
1/4 cup honey
3 dried bay leaves
5 cloves of garlic smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tsp dried rosemary (3 sprigs fresh)
1 tsp dried thyme (3 sprigs fresh)
1 tsp dried parsley (3 sprigs fresh)
2 lemons sliced

1. Place the water, salt, honey, bay leaves, garlic, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, parsley and lemons in a large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until salt has dissolved.
3. Turn off the heat and cool completely.
4. Add the chicken to the cooled brine making sure it is completely submerged and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
5. Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse with cool water; pat dry with paper towels. 

To add more flavor to the chicken, I decided to use Chef Lea Ann’s recipe for rotisserie chicken spice mix from her Cooking On The Ranch blog.

1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary crushed
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder 

1. I removed the chicken from the brine and fridge about an hour before cooking so it could air dry and warm up a little.
2. Thirty minutes before cooking, I combined all spices in small bowl. I loosened the skin with my hands to distribute mixture evenly between meat and skin of the breast and thigh and leg I could reach.  After a 20 hour brine, I was afraid to add any more salt to the bird so it got none in the cavity, in the spice mixture, or on the outside.
3. In looking at recipes for cooking on a spit (and there were very few), the suggested cooking time for a 4 lb chicken was 1½ -2 hours so I allowed 2½ hours for my larger bird.
4. After putting it on the spit, I tressed the legs, tied the wings to the body, and rubbed peanut oil over the outside.  
5. I started it cooking with the infrared side burner on high for an hour then lowered it to low for the remainder of the cook.  I put a pan under the chicken to catch any juices. 

6. At the 1½ hour mark, I used my Thermapen to begin checking the temperature of the breast, by inserting the probe into the thickest part of the breast from the neck end of the bird so as not to puncture the skin and allow juices to escape.

7. It achieved the desired 160F breast temp at the 2¼ hours so I turned off the burner and let it rest about 10 minutes in the grill.  

8. Then I moved it to a cutting board, removed the spit and carved it for eating.

We sided it with some asparagus from our garden that we steamed then tossed with some melted butter and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and a Bev salad using beautiful fresh greens from our Sat trip to the Mennonite market.  This is my plate.

We all thought it was delicious and Bev said “she hated to admit that it was better than store bought and her breast was melt in my mouth tender” - which was a big relief.  Cindy just oohed and aahed over her thigh.  I ate a leg and two wings and the wings were too salty but Bev and Cindy didn’t think theirs was as they don’t eat the skin.  My leg was a little salty as was the bite of breast I tried so next time, I’ll use the same recipe but only brine for about 12 hours and see what we get.  Lea Ann’s spice mix was excellent and will be the go-to from now on.  Thanks Chef.

While this cook won't totally deter us from the convenience of store bought rotisserie chicken (now I wonder how they are cooked), it will at least give us pause to consider cooking our own and since this one was so tender, I'll now want to get the bigger birds.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


4/19/20 event date


  1. I love this idea I will have to get that for my grill the bird looks spectacular!

  2. That chicken looks might delicious! And with all those seasonings and a little honey, woo hoo! Much better than the rotisserie chickens here. The Jewel stores here use some kind of weird oil that I don't like, funny smell and taste, but Bill loves their chicken. Can't wait till we can grill, if it would just warm up and quit raining!

  3. It's so cool you can make a rotisserie chicken at home. It looks and sounds wonderful.

  4. Larry, Great looking chicken and a beautiful plate of food too! Love roasted chicken and that skin looks great... Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. That's a fine looking rotisserie chicken, Larry!

  6. Your chicken looks great, Larry, and your weight loss is really impressive! It's still cool up here for outdoor cooking, but it isn't even May yet, so that's no surprise.

  7. You looking good and so is the chicken.......sorry to hear MOHO broke......CU down the road..HRB..

  8. I am so glad you liked that spice mix. We sure think it's good. Now ...... if I just had a rotisserie function on my grill. :)


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