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Chef's Hat: Make your own rotisserie chicken

A simple internet search showed dozens of recipes where a chicken is "baked," yet with a few simple seasonings has the taste and juiciness of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. So even if you can't make your chicken spin in circles, there's no reason this recipe can't be prepared at home.

One of the easiest ways to prepare a meal is to stop at the deli and pick up a rotisserie chicken. Heat up a vegetable, throw a roll in the oven to warm up and you have a meal for your family.

Not a bad way to go. But since I had a whole chicken in the freezer, I started thinking, why can't I make a rotisserie chicken at home?

A friend said this is impossible unless you have the right equipment - that being the rotisserie where the chicken is constantly turned to expose all sides of it to the heating element.

I do not have a rotisserie or a grill with a rotisserie attachment. But I did not see that as an obstacle I couldn't overcome.

A simple internet search showed dozens of recipes where a chicken is "baked," yet with a few simple seasonings has the taste and juiciness of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. So even if you can't make your chicken spin in circles, there's no reason this recipe can't be prepared at home.

It is the rub that gives the chicken its flavor. The rub is a simple mix of basic seasonings, such as paprika, onion powder, kosher salt and garlic powder. However, you can also buy a premade rotisserie seasoning. Simply sprinkle that on your whole chicken, or a few chicken pieces, bake and you have a great tasting rotisserie chicken that you merely popped in your oven.

For my first attempt at rotisserie chicken, I brined the chicken before baking it; but many of the recipes I looked at did not call for brining the chicken. If you are short on time or only baking a few pieces of chicken, the brining step can be left out.

There are a couple of benefits to making your own rotisserie chicken. The first one is you can add additional spices or seasonings - a bit of cayenne pepper, fresh rosemary, thyme and basil all blend well with this recipe. The other advantage is you can cook just a few pieces of chicken - whether that is legs, thighs or breasts, instead of the whole bird.

There's no need to run to the store to get a rotisserie chicken. With a few spices and a little bit of time, a hot, delicious chicken will be ready for your family. Happy Eating.

Rotisserie Chicken Thighs

  • 8 chicken thighs with skin (bone-in work the best)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with the nonstick cooking spray.

Place the chicken thighs in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken thighs. Toss lightly.

In a small bowl, combine the garlic salt, white pepper, thyme, paprika and salt. Sprinkle the seasonings over the chicken thighs. Toss so the thighs have a nice coating of seasoning.

Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes and then check. A thermometer placed into the thighs should read 165 degrees. If necessary, cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. If desired, turn broiler on and broil 3 to 5 minutes so the skin on the chicken gets crispy. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Oven Roasted Rotisserie Style Chicken

For the brine:

  • 1 gallon of cold water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 chicken, 4 to 5 pounds (remove giblets)

For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Other ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered

In a large pot or bowl, combine the brine ingredients (except the chicken). Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

Remove the chicken from the brine and rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and mix until well combined.

Place the quartered onion in the chicken cavity. Brush the chicken with the olive oil. Sprinkle the rub all over the chicken, making sure all sides are well covered.

Place a wire rack in a baking pan and put the chicken on the wire rack. Put the cover on the baking pan. If you do not have a lid for the pan, cover with aluminum foil.

Put in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully turn the chicken over. Cover again and put back in the oven for an additional hour and 15 minutes. Check with a thermometer - it should read 165 degrees. If it isn't quite done, cook another 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, remove the foil and broil the chicken for about 5 minutes. This will crisp up the skin.

Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.

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