Again last week, Michael Ruhlman had a tweet about roasting versus buying a chicken for a mid-week dinner. Although in my case it's grilling, I couldn't agree more. When picking up a chicken at the store, I keep walking past the roto'd birds stashed near the National Enquirers and People magazines. I believe you can judge a bird by the company it keeps and frankly, I have no use for aliens or "Kate plus Eight" at dinner.
Best yet, when grilling a chicken mid-week I not only get dinner, but at least a couple lunches thereafter. It's a win, win, win!
I happen to enjoy rotisserie chickens so much, I never seem to have the same one twice. I'm often all over the place. Tonight, for instance, I opted for smokey and sweet.
I stuffed the bird with a ton of oregano. Unlike my hair, the oregano in our herb garden is growing steadily out of control. With aromatics in place, I trussed the bird and placed it on the spit. Using the sink, I spanned the spit across the bowl to oil and season the bird. This set up makes the process of seasoning the bird so much easier.
I opted to use the roto on the kettle and prepped it for indirect cooking while at the same time soaked some wine infused oak chips. With the grill ready and smoke spewing, I mounted the spit to the kettle and started the spin.
About 15 minutes in, I dropped some soaked ears of corns down on the charcoal grate. It was somewhat of an afterthought, and they turned out pretty good. I'll experiment more with this idea later.
Depending on the size, I typically spin my birds for an hour and fifteen to an hour and thirty minutes. During the last fifteen minutes, I basted the chicken with 1/2 cup of honey, a 1/4 cup of butter, and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne (In the end there wasn't enough heat, so next time I'll up the pepper).
Between the glaze and smoke, the chicken turned out just right. The oregano in the cavity added great flavor to the meat and the glaze made the skin taste heavenly. Even when I don't plan ahead, a chicken on the grill makes a great mid-week dinner...and lunch, and lunch, and lunch. It's easy, about impossible to screw up, and can be a blank slate for all sorts of experimentation. I agree, Ruhlman's got this one right.