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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nostalgic Rotisserie Chicken

When I was a child, I remember going to the grocery store and staring at the chickens, slowly turning in a massive rotisserie. I remember how succulent and juicy they looked, and how I wished that we would have one for dinner. And very often, we did. They were an inexpensive, healthy dinner option. Much healthier than fast food and much easier to deal with than making an entire meal from scratch.

I also remember times when we didn’t finish the chicken for dinner, and how there would be leftovers in the fridge for the next day. I would shred the cold chicken with my fingers, then place it between 2 slices of warm buttered toast with a little bit of salt and pepper. Yum yum!

Nowadays, I don’t purchase these rotisserie chickens, although at times, I am tempted by the memories of my childhood. It’s not that there is anything wrong with them. But I love cooking, and really try to cook as much as possible from scratch.

Then one day out of the blue, my husband suggested that we try the rotisserie component in our oven. What a great idea! I had completely forgotten that we had this feature! So, we bought the chicken, set up the rotisserie, and recreate the smells and tastes of my past. The chicken was absolutely delicious. Juicy, tender, and flavorful. Plus, it was so easy to make.

At this point, you might be tempted to try this recipe. Or, if you don't have a rotisserie, you are probably heading out the door to buy one (I mean a rotisserie chicken, not an actual rotisserie). But wait!! You can make this chicken without a rotisserie!

Just prepare the chicken as instructed in the recipe and roast it, breast side down (as I mentioned in my last chicken post), basting it occasionally, and the result will be just as tasty. The only difference really between rotisserie and roasting is that rotisserie allows for completely even cooking. I also think that the meat stays juicier since the chicken is always turning and the juices stay in the chicken instead of dripping out.

In this recipe, we used 2 baby chickens—1 each! No need to share or fight over our favorite chicken parts! You could also use 1 whole chicken if you prefer.
Nostalgic Rotisserie Chicken
Serves 2 hungry people

2 baby chickens, 500 grams each, or 1 1kg chicken

Outside Rub
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Paprika

For Basting Liquid
1 tsp Paprika
Juice of 1 Lime
3 tsp Brown Sugar
2 tsp Honey
1 tsp Salt
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/8 cup Water
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Clean and prepare the chicken by rinsing it under cold water and then patting it dry. Rub the outside and inside cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place on the rotisserie or in a roasting pan and into the preheated oven. (If using the rotisserie, I recommend you place a pan or foil on the bottom of the oven to catch any basting liquids or drippings).

Combine all basting ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix until honey is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Baste the chicken occasionally, about every 15 minutes. The chicken should take about 1 hour to cook. You will know it is done when a thermometer placed into the thickest part of the leg reads 165 degrees.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and cover with foil. Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before serving.


  1. Looks delicious, wish it was me taking that big bite =)

  2. please ask Thierry for translation, cause what I'd say is about french culture: je reconnais bien là ton côté gaulois!
    bisous kisses
    Hélène (let's roll!!!!)

  3. that looks good, I must try that, simple and delicious