One of our favorite ‘go to’ dinner options is a warm, crackly, juicy rotisserie chicken. While it is easy to dip out to the grocery and pick one up, why not learn to make one at home?
We spoke to Chef Marjorie Druker, best-selling cookbook author and an iconic face in the Boston dining industry for over three decades. Having started her career by creating the original recipes for Boston Market (then called Boston Chicken) in 1985, Druker is also the owner of The Modern Rotisserie in Boston. Her first restaurant, The New England Soup Factory, turns 20 this year.
In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about rotisserie/roasting?
When it comes to rotisserie chicken, not all chickens are created equally. The better quality chicken you choose, the better chicken you will have. This holds true with meat and fish as well. Work with smaller farms and locally raised chicken, poultry and meats. At The Modern Rotisserie, we use Certified Humane Raised and Handled.
Related: Meet Betty the tweeting chicken
What is the most common mistake you see from amateur and professional chefs alike?
The most common mistake is not trusting their instincts and being too safe with the way they flavor their dishes. I like really bold and loud flavors. Tons of spices and fresh herbs will make your food come alive with taste and that is what will produce your best dishes.
Could you provide any secret tips and tricks for rotisserie/roasting?
I love roasting everything in my oven both at home and in my restaurants. Roasting is high temperature cooking, which means 400 -450 degrees. When you cook at that temperature, it can make your roasting pans hard to clean, especially at the end of the day or if you’re hosting friends at home. I keep a stack of throw away tins that people use on Thanksgiving and when I need to cook at that high of a temperature, I don’t have to worry about the mess afterwards.
More Tips :
- I marinate half chicken a day before preparation.
- I use a combination of cut fresh lemons, fresh chopped garlic, herbs, spices and some vermouth or white wine.
- I season the chicken with salt and pepper and let it sit for at least a day.
- I always have a supply of cooking stock on hand so that I can create quick sauces from the roasting bits left on the bottom of my roasting pans.
- I also suggest buying a container of freshly peeled garlic from whole cloves. Place them in a small oven proof dish and cover with olive oil. You’ll want to use about 2 cups. Place in a 375 degree oven and let it cook for 1 hour or until a light caramel color. Remove the garlic and use it to cook with and keep it on hand in your fridge for when you want to add a touch of mellow roasted garlic. Save the oil and use it to sauté vegetables or make vinaigrettes.