Grilling: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken

[Photograph: Joshua Bousel]

To keep my grilling addiction in check, I allow myself to buy one large equipment purchase each spring, and this year, the Weber rotisseries attachment is in my sights. But I was beaten to the punch, receiving it as a holiday gift, and as soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what was going on that spit: chicken.

I'm in love with the rotisserie chicken from this hole-in-the-wall pan-Latino joint near my office but can't quite put my finger on what makes it so delicious. I set out on an expedition to find out but never came up with a clear consensus of a recipe. I decided to go with this one for Peruvian rotisserie chicken that piqued my interest instead.

The chicken gets slathered with a paste of garlic powder, cumin, vinegar, paprika, white wine, oil, salt and pepper and marinates overnight. Then off it goes to the rotisserie, where the bird turns ever-so-slowly over a 300°F fire, transforming into a perfectly browned beauty.

The semi-crisp skin packed a powerful flavor punch with a slight acidity, and the meat was incredibly moist from the self-basting action. All in all, this bird broke the rotisserie in style, but didn't quite match the chicken from my lunchtime joint. I will continue trying to figure that one out.

Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken

Adapted from recipezaar.com

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears weekly here on Serious Eats during grilling season.

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Grilling: Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken

About This Recipe

Rated:

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) roasting chicken
  • Juice of 1 lemon mixed with 1 quart cold water

Procedures

  1. 1

    Mix together the cumin, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, vinegar, wine, and oil in a small bowl to form a paste.

  2. 2

    Wash the chicken thoroughly with lemon water and remove any excess fat. Rub the paste all over the inside and outside of the chicken, including under the skin. Place the chicken in a large Ziploc bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hour, but preferably overnight.

  3. 3

    Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature while you prepare the grill. Light a chimney 3/4 full of charcoal. When the charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour the coals out and arrange them on either side of the charcoal grate, keeping the middle empty. Place chicken on the rotisserie and cook at 300 degrees until an instant read thermometer registers 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove the chicken from the rotisserie and let rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve.

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