On busy nights when we don’t necessarily have time to cook, an easy (and delicious) dinner option is to head to your local supermarket and pick up a rotisserie chicken. With its warm, juicy meat and crisp, crackly skin, what’s not to love about it? The thing is, we’re not always about ease and laziness. Sometimes, we want to up our dinner game so we decided to find out how to make our own damn rotisserie chicken.
To do that, we spoke to an expert. Chef Marjorie Druker is a bestselling cookbook author and has been 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, turned 20 in 2016.
Here are some of Druker’s tips and tricks for cooking the perfect rotisserie chicken.
The Manual: In your opinion, what is the biggest misconception about rotisserie/roasting?
Marjorie Druker: 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.
TM: What is the most common mistake you see from amateur and professional chefs alike?
MD: 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.
TM: Could you provide any secret tips and tricks for rotisserie/roasting?
MD: I love roasting everything in my oven both at home and in my restaurants. Roasting is high-temperature cooking, which means 400 -450 degrees Fahrenheit. 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 afterward.
More Tips for How to Make Your a Rotisserie Chicken
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper and let it sit for at least a day.
- Marinate half chicken a day before preparation, using a combination of cut fresh lemons, fresh chopped garlic, herbs, spices, and some vermouth or white wine.
- Always have a supply of cooking stock on hand so that you can create quick sauces from the roasting bits left on the bottom of my roasting pans.
- Buy a container of freshly peeled garlic from whole cloves. Place them in a small ovenproof 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.
Article originally published by Cator Sparks on July 5, 2016. Last updated by Sam Slaughter.
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