Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rotisserie Style Roast Chicken

My family loves a good roasted chicken for dinner.  Served with some mashed potatoes & a little broccoli, everyone is happy. But roasting chicken is tricky!  Roast it at a high temp so the skin is crispy and it's hard to get the inside done.  Roast it too long and the meat gets dry.    After plenty of trial and errors, I finally stumbled on the following  method from  This is my tweaked method.  Roasted long and slow, the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

For those of you not sure if you can face a raw, whole chicken, I have for you the words of the inimitable Julia Child. "Too many people nowadays are deathly afraid of their food..."   Really, its okay - it's just a chicken!  It's what you've been eating for years!  Nothing to be freaked out about.

When whole chicken goes on sale for .78 cents a pound, I stock up.  Then, as long as the oven is getting turned on to roast one chicken, I  roast another one while I am at it.  We eat one for dinner, then pull the meat off chicken #2 and have plenty of cooked chicken for quesadillas,  chicken salad, casseroles or whatever.  Cook once, eat twice! 

Rotisserie Chicken at Home
2    4-6lb chickens
2   Tbsp salt
3    Tsp  paprika
1    Tsp onion powder
1    Tsp garlic powder
2    Tsp dried thyme
1    Tsp dried rosemary
1 1/2   Tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
1/2   Tsp cayenne pepper
2   quartered onions
1-2 quartered lemon (optional)
Fresh rosemary (optional)


*Updated to add:  After reading this post again - I realized I forgot something important.  This chicken is best when the birds are coated with spice mixture, tucked into a plastic bag or wrapped in plastic wrap, and refrigerated overnight or at least for several hours. Letting the rub marinate the chicken really improves the flavor.

Combine salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and cayenne. Remove and discard any giblets or "extras" from cavity of chickens.  Rinse chickens and pat dry with paper towel.  Rub chicken all over with spice mixture.  Place a few pieces of  the quartered onions and lemons in chicken cavity and place chickens, breast side down in 9 X13 pan.  Scatter around remaining onion and lemon pieces.  If you have any fresh herbs on hand, tuck in some rosemary or thyme. Bake at 275 degrees for 4 1/2 hours.
Gravy (Aka -nirvana)

The skin bakes up nice and crispy.  The pan fills up with lovely lemon and rosemary scented juices.  Pour off this liquid gold into a large clear measuring cup. Set chicken aside, covered. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.  This gives the juices time to redistribute and makes for more flavorful, juicy meat. Back to that lovely bowl of pan juices you just poured off.  Using a large spoon, scoop the top layer of fat off and discard.  Pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil. While this is heating up,  put  2-3 tbsp. flour into a small lidded container.  Add a 1/2 cup of milk and shake like crazy. Pour milk and flour mixture into boiling chicken stock.  Wisk. Wisk. Wisk.   Give it a minute or two to cook & thicken up.  Taste for seasonings.  Slice chicken off the bone and serve with gravy.  Delicious with mashed potatoes as a side.

Wait, there's more.

So dinner is over, tummies are full.  Your husband has this blissful, glazed look of satisfaction that only a  meat and potato meal can produce.  And you have - 2 chicken carcasses.  What ever you do, DO NOT toss in the trash.  Toss instead, into a resealable bag and then into the freezer.  The next time you have  a hankering for some chicken stock,  you have the perfect beginning for it.  Directions on that to come.


  1. Looks good, Wren! I'm excited to keep up with your blog--I'm putting it on my favorites. :)

  2. Thanks Shea! I've got lots of posts in my to get them written down.

  3. Very cool, can't wait to try your rub. I always roast 2 at a time as well.

  4. Ok... I am so not gonna lose any weight reading your blog! I love the chicken recipe... We will have to try it!