Last night was pivotal. Two things happened, recently:
- We had to replace our barbeque;
- I didn't have time to brine the chicken....
We had decided that we wanted to use the rotisserie on the barbeque. We had never cooked a chicken in this way (but the roast beef last week was amazing, so we were stoked!). So I thought, why not try a compound butter underneath the skin? Wow.... Just wow. So simple. Sooooo delicious! And you can do it, too! No rotisserie? No problem! See the note at the bottom of this page!
- One 2 kg / 4-5 lb free-range chicken (or larger)
- One stick / 114 g / 1/4 lb unsalted butter, softened
- 15 ml / 1 Tbsp Lift Flavours Lavender & Green Tea Sea Salt (although any flavour will work well)
- Barbeque with a rotisserie burner, rod, forks and motor
- Drip pan filled with at least 2.5 cm / 1 inch of water
- Meat thermometer
- Mix the butter and flavoured salt together to make a consistent paste.
- Rinse and pat the chicken dry (removing any organs, if necessary), inside and out.
- From the neck cavity end, gently slide your hand between the skin and the breast of the chicken to create space for the butter. Separate the skin from the meat all the way to the other end. You can even make space all the way to the bottom of the legs, as long as you are careful.
- Halve the butter and scoop a bit at a time to slather under the skin. Start at the leg, move to the top of the breast and finish at the neck cavity. You'll be using your other hand to try to slide the butter off the slathering hand from the outside. Tie the bottoms of the legs with twine (or use a silicone elastic). Fold the wings back.
- Depending on the size of the chicken, you may be keeping the other half of the butter for your next chicken. Wrap in plastic and keep in the freezer.
- Turn the rotisserie burner of your barbeque to high and allow to heat with the lid closed. Meanwhile, secure one fork to the rod, then place the rod lengthwise through the cavity of the chicken so that you'll pierce the neck end. Secure the second fork at the leg end. (You may have to attach your counterweight if the chicken isn't balanced.) The chicken should be more or less in the centre.
- Put the rod in place according to your barbeque's directions. Ensure that the drip pan is placed underneath the chicken.
- Roast for 10 minutes at high heat, then turn to medium and cook for about another 10 minutes, per pound. You will want to stop the motor and check for doneness at the hip joint, avoiding the rod or forks; you are looking for a temperature of 77 degrees Celcius. At that point, you will want to remove the chicken from the apparatus and tent with foil. Leave it for another 10 minutes; the chicken will continue to cook and you'll end up with an essential temperature of 82 degrees C.
- Carve the chicken. About two decades ago, we watched a fantastic Food Network Canada show called Cook Like a Chef that instructed, "Legs, Breast, and the Rest". Do it in that order, and you'll be a kitchen genius!
- Serve with a fantastic salad, or smashed potatoes or whatever your heart desires, and devour everything!!
Wine Pairing: I would go with a nice, unoaked Chardonnay....
Note: If you don't have a rotisserie, you can always make a "beer can chicken"! Take a tall can of beer or cider and pour out half to enjoy as a tasty beverage. Place the chicken on the can (leg end down) and plug the neck end with a stopper made of aluminum foil. Tie the legs. Cook on the barbeque at medium heat for roughly 45 minutes or until the chicken reaches the 77 mark, as above, and proceed from there.