Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What's on the Grill #206: Bacon Rubbed Chicken

Larding is the process for adding fat into the interior of meat.  By using the aptly named lard needle, small strips of lard (aka lovely bacon fat) is driven into tough pieces of meat in order to make said meat more tender.  However, since I'm not going french tonight and I'm about five steps down from haute cuisine, I'm larding my own way.   How, you ask?  Simple, I'm jamming bacon under the skin of a whole chicken, or as I like to call it: the ole bacon rub.

The weeknight chicken rotisserie is just one more way to grill through the week and more importantly a way to jump on the never ending "I'll eat bacon on anything" bandwagon.

Yes, you can buy a cooked chicken rotisserie anywhere these days, but it is so much more rewarding to make one at home.  Plus, you get to perform the bacon rub.

In reality, it's less bacon rub and more bacon drop, but the idea is the same: baconize the meat.

With the chicken cavity sitting in front of you, use your fingers to work the skin away from the meat.  The skin is fairly resilient and can be worked quite aggressively without being torn.

Once you have the skin pulled away from the meat and can reach your fingers all the way through the top of the chicken, insert small sliced pieces of bacon and rub it into the flesh.

Peek-a-boo-bacon

From there, truss the chicken and mount it on the rotisserie spit.  Now, here's my "how do I season my rotisserie chicken without making a mess" hack.  With the bird on the spit, place the chicken across the sink.

Chicken Sink Prep

Suspended over the sink, it makes it much easier to rotate the spit and coat the bird on all sides with the seasoning of your choice.

A Dash

It's a weeknight chicken...go crazy.  I used a combination of pepper, oregano, cayenne and a touch of salt.  With the bacon already under the skin, I didn't want to overdose on sodium.

Prep the grill and spin the chicken for about an hour and fifteen minutes and voila, dinner.  The rotisserie earns bonus grill points in the winter too, because you have to spend only a small amount of time outside.

The Larded Bird

So, in order to make your next weeknight chicken something special, give it the ole bacon rub.  It's a great bandwagon to be on.

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