Lemon-Pepper Rotisserie Chicken

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I’ve always thought that cooking whole chickens and turkeys is one of the most economical ways to procure and prepare meat. These days, you can buy a whole chicken for less than the price of a standard pack of three breasts. So not only do you get more meat for the money, but you get the means to make a nice stock with the bones.

My in-laws recently gave me a rotisserie attachment for my propane grill, so I’ve been roasting up a storm. My favorite dish to make is lemon-pepper chicken. It’s an incredibly easy rub and roast process that gets rave reviews.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Rub

  • 2 lemons, zested
  • The juice from 1½ lemons
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil

Crush the peppercorns, salt, and lemon zest into a paste using a mortar and pestle.

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Next, toss the paste into a bowl with the lemon juice and oil and whisk until emulsified. Herbes de provence, or any of its singular components, make good additions as well.

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Then rub the mixture all over and under the chicken skin. Finally, shove the spent lemons into the cavity and truss the bird tight.

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This is how you truss the bird for the rotisserie. Even if you’re just going to roast your chicken in your oven, trussing is a good way to ensure even cooking. I had to truss mine a little differently because I ripped the back skin and needed to secure it.

Here’s my rotisserie in action. I use a pan to catch drippings for gravy, but remove the pan for the last 20 minutes and cook over direct heat to get crispier skin.

When the chicken is almost done, I squeeze the last half-lemon over the chicken as it rotates on the rotisserie.

When the thickest part of the thigh hits 160°, remove the chicken to a plate, tent it with foil, and let it rest for 15 minutes. When the juices have redistributed, carve up your bird. I usually slice off one of the breasts and the wife and I eat it with roasted vegetables and/or salad.

Rotisserie roasting chicken is actually a relatively low-fat preparation. While healthiness is a great side benefit, the best thing about cooking whole chickens is the leftovers. And my favorite way to use leftover rotisserie chicken is to make soup.

Lemon-Pepper Rotisserie Chicken
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