Rotisserie Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Vegetables  Recipe
Rotisserie Garlic Rosemary Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

by Wolfgang Puck

Whenever I go into supermarkets today, I'm fascinated to see how many sell cooked, ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens. A properly cooked, spit-roasted chicken is delicious. As it slowly turns over, under, or next to its heat source, it continuously bastes itself with its own juices. The ideal result is juicy, flavorful meat and delicious, crispy brown skin.

The problem, however, is that by the time you buy it, a rotisserie chicken may be past its ideal doneness. The meat may be a little dry, its temperature closer to lukewarm than hot. And, sealed in plastic or wrapped in a foil-lined bag, the beautiful golden skin may have gone from crisp to soggy.

And that doesn't even begin to deal with the fact that, however convenient the chicken might be, the best way to enjoy it is to serve it the moment you return home -- which may not be when you actually want to eat it!

So, let me offer you a better solution: Make your own rotisserie chicken. It's so easy. After all, how do you think supermarkets make so many of them? Do you ever see a chef there carefully tending to each chicken? Of course not! Once you get it going, the rotisserie does all the work.

You do, however, need a rotisserie. Fortunately, many home ovens today come with built-in rotisseries. And you can buy a good, compact countertop electric rotisserie so inexpensively, too. The recipe I share with you here will work very well in either a home oven rotisserie or a countertop model.

All you need is a good whole chicken, preferably organic. Take care not to get one so big that it won't fit in your rotisserie; a chicken that weighs about 4 pounds is fine. Be sure to rub the chicken's skin all over with some olive oil and to season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper, along with any herbs or spices you like. Then, simply truss it with kitchen string to give it a compact shape that will cook evenly, secure it on the spit following the manufacturer's instructions, and let the cooking begin.

Another advantage of cooking a chicken this way is that, at the same time, you can roast vegetables in a baking pan on a shelf below. Juices from the chicken will drip into the pan, adding wonderful flavor to the ready-to-serve side dish.

The only jobs you have left to do are to test for doneness when the timer goes off, let the chicken rest briefly so its juices settle, carve, and serve. And there you have it: a perfect dinner for weeknights or weekends, family or company alike, in little more effort than a trip to the supermarket.

Rotisserie Garlic Rosemary Chicken With Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Serves 4

4-pound whole organic chicken, wing end joints cut off

8 garlic cloves

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1 organic red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into large chunks

1 organic orange or yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into large chunks

1 organic green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into large chunks

2 large yellow onions, peeled and cut into large wedges

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse sea salt or kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes

2 lemons, halved

Preheat the oven or countertop rotisserie to 400 degrees F. Set a shelf on the lowest level.

Meanwhile, rinse the chicken inside and out with cold running water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Set aside.

Put the garlic, rosemary, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and onions in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste. Toss well.

Fill the chicken's cavity with a small handful of the vegetables and 2 of the lemon halves. Measure and cut a piece of kitchen string twice the length of your forearm. With the chicken breast up, pass the middle of the string under its tail and bring the string up, cross it, and loop each end snugly around the end of one of the drumsticks; then, pass the strings up both sides of the chicken between the thighs and breast, turn the chicken over, and knot them snugly across the wings and over the neck opening.

Following manufacturer's instructions, insert the rotisserie spit through the center of the chicken from the neck end to the tail end. Slide on the spit clamps snugly against both ends of the chicken and tighten the screws securely.

Rub the skin of the chicken all over with the remaining oil and season all over with a little more salt and pepper. Transfer the remaining vegetables to a baking dish and put them on the bottom shelf of the oven. Load the rotisserie spit into the oven. Close the oven door and set the oven to its rotisserie function. Set a timer for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, open the oven and, with a large spoon or spatula, turn the vegetables over in the baking dish. An instant-read thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh, not touching bone; when the chicken is done, the temperature should register 165 degrees F. If the temperature is lower than that, close the oven and continue to cook on the rotisserie setting for 10 to 15 minutes more before testing again.

When the chicken is done, carefully loosen the screws on the spit and slide the chicken off onto a carving board. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Uncover and squeeze the remaining lemon halves all over the chicken. Carve and serve with the roasted vegetables.


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