BBQ-Heroes

The best spit-roasted chicken

If you wait in line at the poulterer, you can see those chickens turning in the rotisserie. They smell lovely, and before you know it, you take one home. We love grilled chicken, but do you know that you can easily make spit-roasted chicken yourself?

We will tell you how to season the meat. Truss the chicken and serve it as juicy as possible. You do need a rotisserie, of course. We own one for the kamado, but they are also available for your Weber Mastertouch.

First of all, you need to ensure you buy a good chicken. Preferably a free-range chicken. Theses chicken have had a better life. This feels and tastes better.

First, we loosen the skin from the meat. You do this by pressing a finger under the skin, starting at the neck cavity. You can make a small cut if you don’t get your finger underneath.

Loosen the skin at the legs as well. The wings are too thin. The chance that the skin will tear there is very high.

Then we coat the chicken with a layer of olive oil and apply the herbs on and under the skin. The dry rub that we have made provides that delicious grilled chicken flavor. Especially the smoked paprika does its job well.

Then it is time to truss the chicken. Trussing ensures that no loose parts like wings or legs swing around while turning. Trussing seems more complicated than it is. Just follow the photos, and you’ll be fine.

Place the chicken with the breast up and the legs facing you. Fold the wings up under the chicken behind its back as if it were a very relaxed chicken. Now cut a piece of butcher’s rope about 40 cm and place it under the tail and legs. Tie a knot so that the legs come together.

Now bring the rope forward between the legs and the breast meat. Turn the chicken over with the wings facing you.

Tie the ends of the rope so that the wings stay in place. If you tighten, you see the legs pull in, which protects the lean meat on the chest so that it does not dry out too much.

This is what your chicken should look like now.

Now you can prepare your barbecue so that you can grill a chicken. What you want is that there are no coals or briquettes directly under the chicken. The fat from the chicken drips down and can cause flames. We don’t want that. The temperature in the barbecue should be about 200 to 230°C (390 to 450F). Try not to let it get much hotter.

You could place a drip tray next to the coals and under the chicken to keep the barbecue clean. We do not do this because the heat from the coals ensures that the fat burns and eventually turns into ash.

Now pierce the spit through both openings of the chicken. Place the skewers so that they hold the chicken in place. We try to not puncture the chicken too much. You want to keep the chicken in the middle as much as possible for even cooking.

Depending on the size of the chicken, it should now turn for 45 minutes to an hour. What you want is to reach a core temperature of 85°C (185F) in the legs and 70°C (160F) in the breast. The leg meat is juicier and more tender when cooked a little longer. The breast meat, as said before, is very lean and should, therefore, not exceed 70 to 75°C.

Why is a spit-roasted chicken so much better than just grilled chicken? This is because the chicken is basting itself as the melted fat is continuously moved under the skin. That fat also takes the herbs so it gets in places you can never reach.

You can see that fat in places where it normally would not be. Here you can see it at the bottom of the breast meat. Now you can also see why we try not to puncture the skin too much. This precious fat would simply disappear.

When the desired core temperatures have been reached, let the chicken rest for fifteen minutes so that the juices can redistribute a bit. So you will not have a dry chicken left after the first cut.

With all these tips and tricks, you should be able to prepare a spit-roasted chicken. Go to the poulterer this weekend, buy a whole chicken and a spit of course and try it.

Ingredients

  • Whole chicken
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic granulate
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare a barbecue with 2 zones so that there will be no coals or briquettes under the chicken. The boiler temperature is about 200 to 230°C (390 to 450F).
  2. Loosen the skin of the chicken and spread some olive oil over the chicken. Mix the herbs and apply this on and under the skin of the chicken.
  3. Truss the chicken as described above.
  4. Skewer the chicken on the spit so that it hangs in the center. Place the spit in the barbecue and close the lid.
  5. The chicken is ready when it reaches a core temperature of about 85°C (185F) in the legs and 70°C (160F) in the breast.
  6. Now let the chicken rest for fifteen minutes before you cut it.

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