How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken

How to Prepare a Rotisserie Chicken
Grocery stores don’t have to have a monopoly on the rotisserie chicken market. They make a decent product, to be sure, but you could be making a better one at home. Learning how to prepare a rotisserie chicken doesn’t take years of study. A few simple grilling tools, some spices, and a plucked bird are all you need to cook like a master chef.

Set up the Grill

First things first: take the chicken out of the refrigerator and let it get to room temperature. This will allow it to cook faster. Before you start the grill, get the rotisserie set up and remove the spit: you don’t want to reach over a hot grill and burn yourself. If you have a gas grill, turn the burners to medium and close the lid so that the inside can heat up. If you have a charcoal grill, light the coals; once they have all turned white, divide them and push half to either side of the grill—the chicken should cook over indirect heat.

Prepare the Bird

Once the chicken has come to room temperature, remove it from the packaging, remove the innards, and dry it off with a paper towel. Next, truss the chicken with butcher’s twine so that the chicken will remain stable on the spit and rotate smoothly. Tying the legs and wings so that they’ remain close to the body of the chicken will keep them from burning and allow them to cook evenly with the rest of the bird. Finally, slide the spit through one end of the poultry and out the other. Make sure the bird is positioned in the middle of the spit.

Season the Bird

With the chicken on the spit, it’ll now be easier to season. Have someone help you turn the spit to get the seasoning all over. Rub olive oil all over the chicken first; this will make the skin crispy and help the seasoning stick. Mix your favorite seasonings in a bowl so that you can rub them on all at once. There are a lot of good spices for chicken, but the best are the simplest: salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.

Take it to the Grill

Now that the chicken is tied, skewered, and seasoned, it’s time to put it on the grill. Put the spit into your rotisserie and turn it on. Before you close the lid and walk away, make sure it’s turning smoothly. A lopsided rotisserie will have to work harder, and you run the risk of burning up the motor. The total cook time should be about 90 minutes, depending on how hot the grill is. Use a temperature probe and make sure the internal temp is at least 165 degrees. Anything less than that, and you could get sick. Once you’re sure the chicken is done roasting, take it off the grill and let it rest for 20 minutes or so. Cutting into it right away will let all those delicious juices escape, and then you’ll have dry chicken.
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