Cooking chicken on a rotisserie is one of the easiest ways to make succulent, juicy chicken on your barbecue. As the rotisserie turns, all the juices that are being squeezed out as the meat cooks are being basted over the skin of the chicken making it crispy. As the skin becomes crispy it will hold all those juices inside the meat making it extra moist.
I made this rotisserie chicken on my Weber Spirit E310 Original with the Weber Rotisserie. Rotisseries are available for most charcoal and gas barbecues whatever brand you use. If your particular brand doesn’t have a rotisserie accessory, you should be able to find an after market attachment that will do your Job.
A Killer Roti Chicken Rub
To pack as much flavour into that skin as possible, you want to use a rub that is packed with flavour but will also give you a great colour when finished. If you were roasting a chicken in the normal way, you might be tempted to try and get some of that rub under the skin or into the meat by slashing the thighs and breast but I wouldn’t recommend this for a rotisserie chicken. If you pierce the skin you are just creating a way for juice to escape and end up in the drip pan rather than in your chicken. The rub I use isn’t an overly powerful rub so you can afford to put plenty of it onto the chicken without it becoming overpowering.
5 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
2½ tbsp ground black pepper
2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp garlic granules
3 tbsp smoked paprika
1½ tbsp light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
Zest of ½ lemon
Mix all these ingredients together and add them to a shaker. You can add the rub using your hands but a shaker will make it easier to get an even covering. Coat the entire chicken with the rub making sure to cover all the creases around the legs. Turn the chicken over and make sure to cover all sides.
Take the rubbed chicken and mount it onto the spit taking care not to rub off any of the seasoning. You will want to pre-heat your barbecue to about 200°C (390°F) and set it up for indirect cooking. To do this on my 3 Burner Weber I set the two outside burners on full and left the middle one off. This temperature is a little higher than you would normally cook a chicken at but as the chicken will be rotating constantly you should get an even cook. If the chicken was sitting on the grill, the area’s closest to the heat would cook too quickly. We want the skin to crisp up as quickly as possible so the higher temperature will help.
Once you have your spit in place and running, close the lid and forget about it for a while. Cooking times can vary depending on the size of your chicken. A small – medium chicken can cook in 75 – 90 minutes but a large chicken can take anything up to 120 minutes. The easiest way to tell if it is ready to lift off is to check it with a temperature probe. When cooking a whole chicken you should check both legs and both breasts to ensure they have reached an internal temperature of 82°C (180°F). This is a standard temperature for any poultry cooked on the bone. We will be resting the chicken after we take it off so remember it will continue to cook for a period after it is removed so you can lift the chicken off at 80°C (175°F) and immediately wrapped it in foil. This will allow the chicken to come up to temperature and also as the meat stops cooking it will reabsorb all of those juices that have been squeezed out.
After the chicken has rested for 20 minutes or so, carve it up and serve it straight away. The second you cut into that meat it will start to dry out so ideally you want to carve this bad boy at the table (plus it look pretty damn impressive as well.) I served this with a spicy Mexican bean rice to finish off a really quickly, hassle free meal that tastes fantastic.