Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rotisserie Chicken Looks Ready to Take Flight

Mr. Chicken Was Flipping and Flapping on the Hibachi Rotisserie

I got a wild hair and decided to grill a rotisserie chicken. This is not something I do - obviously. I grill. I smoke. I pit cook and Dutch oven cook. I even cook on sticks. But, I've never done rotisserie.

Not So Easy

Putting together a rotisserie is not that easy for starters. There are a lot of parts, and the thing has to be counterbalanced to run smooth. OK. Got all that. The thing was turning like a windmill - slow steady. Yippee.

The directions did not say anything about the chicken specifically. So, I jammed that little bird right on the rotisserie and turned the button on. And, the fun began . . .

Mr. Chicken was flipping and flopping all over the places. As the chicken rolled over, the wings and legs began to wave. It appeared this bird had come back to life and had plans to fly away.

Hum . . .

I called the grill company. They thought I had assembly problems with the rotisserie and were explaining counterbalance and so on.

I said I had all that down.

"So, it's turning then," they asked.

"Yep," I said.

"Now, what's the problem with the chicken?"

Chicken Prep is Important

I really needed a video of this, but it would proably be a YouTube classic and forever haunt me. So, I was trying to verbally describe how the wings and legs were flapping and hitting the grill and making quite a calamity out on the porch. I pray the neighbors were not watching, since this was a very odd sight.

The grill guy finally figures out what I'm trying to tell him and asks if I tied up the chicken.

Huh? Well, no. I never tie those chickens when I grill them, smoke them, or convection grill them. And, I sure don't tie up the chicken when I make Beer Butt Chicken - one of my best recipes.

Of course, the chickens are not spinning with these other techniques, so there's no reason to truss up the birds. They just sit there and cook.

If You've Ever Made an Outdoor Grill Mess . . .

I thought I'd share this, although I hate to admit I did not tie up my chicken and had it almost went airborn on that rotisserie. If you do decide to rotisserie anything, you want some cooking string or metal ties to hold down floppy parts. Otherwise you have quite a show out in your yard - especially amusing to kids.

If you make this mistake and check in here to find a solution, the grill company guy said that my best bet was to cut off the wings and legs and grill them while rotisserie cooking the chicken body. After all, I did not have the stuff to tie up a chicken right on hand, and this cook was in progress.

I'm not so sure I'm going to be a world class rotisserie outdoor cook, and I'm not sure I want to be. That old flopping chicken was enough to scare the dog. Flip. Flop. Bang. It was something to behold, so if you do want to freak everyone out, then rotisserie your chicken without securing the floppy parts. It really does look like it's come back to life, and that's not a good thing when you're trying to fix dinner.

I share the good times, so I figure it's only fair to share the bad times. If you've ever had a grilling disaster, don't feel bad. It happens to the best of us. And, I may decide to get a handle on rotisserie. I'm sure it's not all that hard. But, I sure made one mess of it this weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hee Hee! I can imagine Mr. Chicken was laughing it up in chicken heaven, watching his remains flopping about a rotisserie grill. My folks have a few eggers who have fairly ceased to egg, so they may end up as smoker or grill fodder. Any tips on tenderizing a five year old bird?

CA said...

I think I'd go with chicken and dumplings with the older birds. Then again, I'm Southern (-:

Anonymous said...

You need to take twine and wrap around the ends of the drum sticks and around the underside of the bird and another around the wings so the whole chicken will cook evenly. Sort of the same reason you use bricks on the grill.

Lee Ving said...

If you're looking for instructions on how to truss up a bird, it's a safe bet you'll find them online. Something else you should do is put a drip pan under your chicken--I put wine or apple juice in mine to steam it up a little.