How to make my rotisserie chicken taste super good?
April 26, 2007 10:29 PM   Subscribe

How to make my rotisserie chicken taste super good?

In Australia, it is common for takeaway chicken shops to cook chickens on a rotisserie and baste them with herbs and spices. Yum.
Indeed, there is a chain called Red Rooster that does this fast food style.
I would call these BBQ chooks, but the American custom of smothering ribs and things in barbecue sauce makes it hard to Google.
Can somebody advise what the basting secret recipe is?
Note for USians, this is not at all related to barbecue sauce.
posted by bystander to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
How about a rotisserie chicken rub?
posted by amyms at 10:39 PM on April 26, 2007

I've never made a rotisserie chicken, but one of the secrets for truly amazing roast chicken is to carefulyl put little nubs of (optionally herbed or garlicked) butter under the skin all over the bird. You can also get special syringes for injecting liquid into the bird.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:46 PM on April 26, 2007

If you stick a whole lemon inside, it makes it extra flavorful. Or so I've been told. I don't actually eat chicken.
posted by necessitas at 10:49 PM on April 26, 2007

dnb, the nubs of butter under the skin (and in the cavity) is the way I make turkey. People love it! I've never actually tried it because, like chicken, I don't eat it.
posted by necessitas at 10:50 PM on April 26, 2007

Most of those commercial chickens (at least in the US) are brined in a salt/water/sugar seasoning blend. The internet abounds with recipes. I prefer not to brine since I think it tends to make the chicken taste like brine instead of bird (which makes it a miracle for turkey), but it does make them super juicy and very well seasoned.
posted by mostlymartha at 10:58 PM on April 26, 2007

Thanks dirtynumbangelboy, necessitas, but I'm really looking for the rotisserie spices.
I already make a pretty kick-ass roast. if I do say so myself.
The brown caramelised, seasoned skin is a pretty unique taste, but seems common in most takeaway joints, so I am hoping somebody with know conclusively.
Amyms chicken rub looks like it might be a possibility.
posted by bystander at 11:02 PM on April 26, 2007

but I'm really looking for the rotisserie spices.

The rub recipe I posted didn't include spices?
posted by amyms at 11:04 PM on April 26, 2007

Oops sorry, I didn't see the rest of your reply (insert ashamed face here)
posted by amyms at 11:05 PM on April 26, 2007

bystander, have you tried Nando's chicken? You can order their excellent marinades and sauces online, and there's a tollfree catering hotline (1800 352 753) too!
posted by rob511 at 11:09 PM on April 26, 2007

Poke a bunch of holes in it and slather it with lemon juice. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Halfway through cooking, paint some melted butter on it. About 5 minutes before you take it out of the over, apply salt, pepper and lemon juice again.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 11:36 PM on April 26, 2007

I cut a medium onion in quarters, (top to bottom, ALMOST al the way thru), put about a tsp of kosher salt down in the middle to pull out the juice, and wrap a long sprig, (10 inches or so), of fresh oregano around it. I dry the chicken with paper towels and rub the skin with butter, and unless the chicken is good & fat, poke a little butter under the breast skin, shove the onion up its butt and let 'er rip. Simplicity itself.
posted by cookie-k at 11:46 PM on April 26, 2007

I'd imagine that the Boston Market style Rotisserie Chicken Copycat Recipe is close to what you're looking for. I can't guarantee, as I've not been to Australia.

Me personally? I sprinkle a whole chicken with Tony's Seasoning (which you can make yourself), and then grill it using the Beer Butt Chicken method. This is probably spicier than most people would prefer, and I can't guarantee it will taste like an Aussie Rotisserie Chicken. But it is awesome tasting.
posted by stovenator at 1:17 AM on April 27, 2007

For whatever reason, I've always thought Peruvian rotisseri chicken was the best around. Try some of those blends:

(Yes, it says bbq, but its not.) Roasting on real wood coals probably helps too, but may be hard on your home kitchen.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 5:54 AM on April 27, 2007

Sprinkling ample amounts of paprika helps with the color.
posted by orangemiles at 6:05 AM on April 27, 2007

Keep in mind that part of the greatness of rotisserie skin is that the fat gets melted away by the rotisserie and leaves the skin crispy and inclined to hold on to all seasoning flavors. A slow, gentle, *direct* heat is going to get you closer to your desired result. Home rotisseries are pretty inexpensive in the US. I can't find one in my cursory Google search for Australia, but I'm probably missing some fu to make it a really good search.

If you can't find one, try an oven at 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and bake in an oven bag, uncovered, for 5 hours or until it's 180 degrees F (85 degrees C) internally. (I'm a daredevil and serve chicken at 170 because it's done and still juicy, myself.)
posted by headspace at 6:27 AM on April 27, 2007

Brine it. That is the surest way to have moist, succulent meat. Many commercially available pre-brined meats are too salty, but if you do it yourself you are not putting the bird in the brine solution for nearly as long and you are in control of the amount of salt used so that you can still brine it without making it too salty.
posted by caddis at 7:03 AM on April 27, 2007

posted by solid-one-love at 8:23 AM on April 27, 2007

The brown, carmelized skin you speak of in the rotisserie context comes from the rotisserie action itself. The fat that drips off the chicken during cooking bastes it.

You're asking what additionally they baste the chicken with? My guess is two-fold, though having never tasted Red Rooster chicken, I can't claim to be answering your question precisely.

First step: oil the skin somehow (I would choose chicken fat, others butter) rub the chicken with a pulverized mixture of salt, pepper, granulated garlic, rosemary and thyme. I've heard of some rotisserie joints that throw chicken bouillon in the mix.

Second step: baste while on the rotisserie, probably with melted butter and broth sprinkled with the seasonings I've described in step 1. By far the most useful basting comes at the end of the process, during the last ten to fifteen minutes of cooking. The best thing to do this with is a small mop.

If the chicken is exposed to a high enough temperature at the beginning of cooking, the skin will crisp up and seal in the juices.

I'd also slip a few slices of garlic under the skin in places where you can do so without making any additional punctures. Don't puncture the skin. V. bad advice, destined to yield dry chicken.
posted by kosem at 8:52 AM on April 27, 2007

posted by sindas at 11:40 AM on April 27, 2007

I like lemon, ground pepper, and savory or rosemary.
posted by kc0dxh at 11:44 AM on April 27, 2007

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