I have a new favorite way to cook chicken. I know. I know. How many "new" ways are there to cook the most commonly-eaten poultry in America? You've had it all, right? From roasted, fried, and sauteed to stewed with dumplings, baked with sauces and turned into soup. But how about slowly cooked on a rotisserie -- at home?
Yes. At home. I'm not talking about buying one of those birds encased in a plastic shield at the grocery store -- the ones that were supposedly cooked on a rotisserie earlier that day -- but really… who knows when they were roasted? I mean preparing a chicken that you cook in your backyard or on a deck -- slowly with the seasonings you like. What I want you to do is take your chicken right off the spit with your own hands and then eat it while it's hot and juicy. Sounds primal but delectable, right?
A couple of years back I gave my husband a rotisserie attachment for our grill and although we've used it a few times, we've amazingly never thought to barbecue chicken with it. But this Labor Day, our poultry world was turned upside down. We were having guests over so we wanted to try something special. My mom was staying with us, but because she's watching her cholesterol we wanted to grill something healthier than the ribs I had been originally contemplating. While Mom and I chatted with my favorite butcher Phil, I caught a glimpse of the beautiful chickens in the refrigerator case -- big and plump organic birds from Sonoma County -- and immediately bought two for our holiday barbecue.
Normally I would bake my chicken, but as Labor Day was one of the only warm days of the summer, I rejected this idea. I wanted to be outside. I suddenly remembered the rotisserie spear hanging in the broom closet (yes, that's where we keep it). I then brined my birds and followed this up with a nice olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and herb marinade. The next day we were ready to go.