Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; surface courtesy Stone Source of Washington, D.C.
SMOKE SIGNALS MAY 25, 2016
Using a rotisserie device -- available at many stores that carry backyard grills -- might be the easiest, and best, way to cook a chicken on the grill. It results in unsurpassed juiciness and crispy skin without having to pay attention to the fire. This recipe is for a charcoal grill only.
You'll need an instant-read thermometer, kitchen twine, barbecue gloves (for handling hot rotissserie parts) and 2 fist-size hardwood chunks, such as apple, pecan or oak.
Make Ahead: You may have seasoning rub left over, can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
Tested size: 4 servings
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), giblets removed
Olive oil, for brushing
Prepare a charcoal grill for opposite-sides indirect heat. Light the charcoal or briquettes; once ready, distribute them half on one side of the grill and half on the other. Place one hardwood chunk on each of the piles. Place the rotisserie base on the grill. For a medium-hot fire (400 degrees), you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 4 or 5 seconds. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.
While the grill is warming up, whisk together the salt, black and cayenne peppers, garlic and onion powders, the dried thyme and sage in a medium bowl to form a seasoning rub. Brush the chicken all over with oil, then season the bird aggressively with the rub. (If you don't use all the rub, store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 month.) Use kitchen twine to truss the chicken.
Slip the chicken onto the rotisserie rod, clamping it in place, and fit the rod into the rotisserie's mechanism. Turn on the rotisserie. Close the lid. Open the top vents about halfway. Cook for about 1 1/4 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast (away from the bone) should register 165 degrees.
Wear barbecue gloves to unscrew the clamps and slide the chicken onto a platter. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Andrew Sikkenga.
Calories per serving: 330
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 15g 23%
Saturated Fat: 4g 20%
Cholesterol: 130mg 43%
Sodium: 410mg 17%
Total Carbohydrates: 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%