Monday, April 28, 2008

Rotisserie Chicken

Someone gave us a rotisserie attachment for the Weber grill for our wedding - I can't find my thank-you list right now, or I'd name-check that person as they deserve. I'm embarassed to admit I just used it for the first time last night. The two factors holding me back before where that I wasn't comfortable yet with cooking whole chickens and I was going to have to run an extension cord from our kitchen out to the deck.

Since we got it, I've done roast chickens several times and our new pad has an electrical outlet next on the deck, next to the grill. So, last night, with the advent of decent weather in our fair city, it was time to try it out.

I wanted to get the basic technique down this time around, so rather than fancy recipes, I did a simple roast chicken preparation, minus the butter under the skin. I rinsed, dried and seasoned the birds, using only kosher salt and pepper. I also stuffed the cavities with 2 cloves of crushed garlic and strips of yellow onion. Though the cage of the basket is pretty tight and secure, I did need to truss the cavity, which I did using the "skin truss" (poking holes in the skin and tucking the legs into those, rather than using twine.

The recipe on the Weber site recommended 1-1.25 hours at Indirect High, possibly adjusting to Indirect Medium if the skin was browning too quickly.

There was a LOT of flame at the start, which cause a little bit of (though not too much char). Afterwards, I found that one of the "Flavorizer" bars (A-shaped bars that site between the grill surface and the flames in a Weber) was turned over. Instead of letting grease run down the sides of the "A," it was getting trapped in the trough of the "V." So, I think this may have caused the flame eruptions. I think that the rotation of the basket may have knocked it over (a stray wing, perhaps), but as I've been cleaning and reassembling it lately, it's entirely possible that I hadn't put that bar back in place.

The results were pretty good. Mine was a little bit dry, but not bad at all. A piece that fell off of Channing's was unbelievably tender, moist and tasty. I think they were a bit over-cooked, so I'll go with Indirect Medium the next time. Also, I think I'll do the butter under the skin prep on Channing's to crisp it up a bit.

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