This week we are going to talk about a Rotisserie Lemon Basil Chicken recipe that we did for Man food Mondays last week. We had paired it with the Patty Pan squash I posted last Monday. So, it was eluded to, and I felt I needed to share it with you.
Chicken is a very easy no hassle meal to prepare. Doing it on the gas grill with the rotisserie rolling makes it a kind of set it up and forget it relaxing Sunday meal. I make this type of chicken a few time a year, and no matter how I have seasoned it, it is always a hit.
I purchased the chicken from Costco a few weeks back. It was in a frozen 2 pack so the cost was low…about $10 for both birds. I mention this because if your on a budget, this is a low cost meal as well. It needed to be thawed, so I immersed it in a bowl of cool water and set it in the refrigerator over night. When you are thawing meat you need to be mindful of the temperatures you do it at. All meat should be thawed under 40° in the refrigerator or in cold water that is changed every 30 minutes. Cook the chicken soon after it is thawed to keep it safe.
When you are rotisserie cooking the on the grill, you need to have an attachment. If you do not have one, they are easy to find. The chicken is held in place on a rod that is inserted from front to back with rotisserie forks/skewers on each end, so that it will rotate. If you are wanting to do hands off cooking, you want a rotisserie with a electric motor.
So enough of that, let’s get cooking.
After the chicken was thawed, it was time to season her up and stick her on the spit to cook. When you season a chicken, you need to put as much of the seasoning as you can under the skin of the chicken. The reason for this is the skin acts as a barrier to the penetration of the spices to the meat. If you just place the spices on top you get very tasty skin and little taste transfers to the meat. To do this loosen the skin around the neck and across the breasts, do the same for the back try not to tear the skin because it will hold the spices in place as it starts to cook. If you need to, you can hold the skin in place with tooth picks before you set it to cooking. You’re also going to need to truss the legs and wings so they do not move or flop around while the chicken turns. Here is an entertaining “how to” that give a good reason to always truss chickens…it comes at the end of the video. I will add here that if you are going to “stuff” the chicken, and we are, it is best to do so before you truss it the trussing will help keep the stuffing in. I stuffed the cavity with cut lemons, chopped basil and kosher salt.
- 1 2 to 4 lb whole chicken, thawed
- olive oil to coat the chicken
- 1 whole medium to large lemon
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. or more kosher salt
- Fresh black pepper
- 3 to 4 feet kitchen twine
- 2 Tbsps. salted butter, melted (optional)
- After the chicken is thawed, remove the giblets, neck pieces and any other items in the cavity. of your chicken.
- If you have one use a cooking oil sprayer to lightly coat the cavity of the chicken. If not, brush the cavity with oil. This will help hold the salt to the walls.
- With your fingers loosen the skin from the neck down and apply ½ of the chopped basil, minced garlic, kosher salt and fresh black pepper under the skin on as much of the meat as you can reach without tearing the skin. Press the skin back into place, securing with tooth picks if necessary. Lightly salt the skin with your leftover salt .
- Next place the remaining chopped basil, kosher salt, black pepper and last the cut lemons into the open cavity and truss your chicken.
- Insert the rotisserie rod and secure the rotisserie forks/skewers to the chicken as tightly as possible.
- The chicken should cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, with an internal temp of 165° measured at the thigh.
Depending on the weight of your bird, it should cook in short order. You can periodically baste the chicken with the melted butter if you want. Most times I do not because there is usually enough “fat” in the chicken to keep it moist.
So, that’s it. I hope you enjoy the chicken.