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Rotisserie Chicken

I think I may have mentioned that I recently purchased a gas grill.  My first one ever.  I had resisted for many years because I just love the taste of charcoal grilled food and I liked the whole ritual of using charcoal.  But it’s hard to grill for a crowd on charcoal – at least without having multiple grills –  so this year I finally upgraded myself to gas. 
And of course I love it, and the ease of firing it up, and the fun of outdoor cooking made easy.  It’s been really great!  When I got my grill I was happy to see that it came with a whole rotisserie setup and had been looking for an opportunity to try it out.  A couple of weekends ago, I had a quiet evening and decided this would be a good time to see how the rotisserie worked.  I hadn’t used a rotisserie in many, many years and I thought it would be good to practice on myself before subjecting my friends to this process!
I wanted to do a fairly simple preparation and so early in the day, I mashed up some garlic, chopped up rosemary and tossed all that in a little saucepan, covered it with olive oil and let it gently heat for about 30 minutes to make a quick infused oil.  I removed it from the heat and let it sit the rest of the day. 
When I was ready to grill the chicken I used pretty much the same preparation as I do for oven roasting:  I filled the cavity with shallots (any type of onion is fine), rosemary (any type of herb is fine), and lemon; and tied the legs and wings close to the body.  Then I ran the rotisserie rod in through the neck and out the back end and put the pointy gripper things (I’m sure there’s a real word for those but either I don’t know it or it escapes me at the moment…) on the bar and into the chicken to hold it in place. Then I basted it with the rosemary-garlic oil. 
While I had been preparing the chicken I pre-heated the grill by turning all three burners up to high so that the grill was super hot, but before putting the chicken in to cook, I turned the burners down to low to keep the temp at about 375F.  I put the rod into the motor and the little chicken was slowly spinning in no time!  
I basted the chicken about every 15 minutes with the oil and at an hour I started checking temperature.  My guy (which was a 4lb+ chicken) was done at about an hour and 15 minutes.  Beautifully browned but still moist on the inside.  For a first try it was pretty good! 
A couple of things I would do differently next time though.  I needed to tie the legs much tighter to keep the vegetables that I’d placed in the cavity, in the cavity!  During the cooking process nearly all of it fell out.  Also, I had planned to place a tray of vegetables under the chicken as it turned to let them roast in the chicken drippings but the grill pan I had was a little too tall so that didn’t work as planned – I could have just placed the veggies on perforated foil (to keep them from falling through to the flame) or I can look for a grill basket with lower sides, as that is still a good idea.
Overall I was happy with the whole process, though, and will be doing more experimenting soon.  I seem to remember a pork loin in the freezer that might be just perfect for the next round!      
  1. 23-Jul-2007 8:26 am

    Roti on the grill rocks!  I like the technical term \’pointy-gripper-things\’.  Works for me.
    I usually get my chicken legs flying around on my roti as well.  I\’ve worked a trick where I actually jam the legs into the pointy-gripper-things without having to use string and that seems to work well. 
    You\’ve inspired me.  I\’ve had a bird in the freezer for a bit and I need to thaw it out and throw it on the grill.  I\’ve found my grilling project this week!  ;-)
    p.s. Been to any good concerts this summer?

  2. Culinary permalink
    27-Jul-2007 7:16 pm

    Hey BH!  Sorry for the delay here – I was camping and then at a conference for the last week+ – just finally getting back to life in the city. :-)  Glad you like my technical vocab, or at least understand it!  That\’s all that counts really…    Good idea about the legs and pointy-gripper-things!  I\’ll have to try that next time.  I think my next project though is a whole pork loin….  It\’s calling my name! ;-) 
    Speaking of concerts – yes!!!  Just at Pink Martini at the zoo last night.  I love those guys and they never fail to please.  Saw Harry Connick back in June at Ste Michelle.  Most of my concerts are coming up though:  Robert Cray and Keb \’Mo; Diana Krall (both at Ste Michelle); and Bela Fleck at the zoo.  LOVE the summertime concerts!! You??

  3. ariel permalink
    03-Aug-2007 6:16 am

    just by seeing the pictures would really make me hungry

  4. Culinary permalink
    08-Aug-2007 6:10 am

    Hi Sophia!
    Thanks for your comments and for dropping by!
    ~ B 

  5. Unknown permalink
    13-Sep-2007 4:06 pm

     You didn\’t mention the rotesserie burner at the rear of the grill. Did you use it? Leave it on the entire time ? Brown the skin and turn it off? Blame it on the bosanova?

  6. Culinary permalink
    26-Sep-2007 8:49 am

    No-name:  Sorry for the slow response!  I\’ve been out of the country and just returned.  For this first time I decided not to use the back burner, although I may try it at a future time.  I also might have used it if the bird was a little smaller but this one came pretty close to it and I thought it would probably char the skin long before the chicken was cooked. 
    ~ B


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