The Portuguese way
(Sponsored post) Portuguese folks know their rotisserie chicken (galinha de churrasco). But these Portuguese people (Nelson and I) used to have to go to Toronto to buy this deliciousness; an inconvenient venture unless we were already there for some other reason.
Plus, unless we could eat it right away, it was never quite the same after reheating when we got home.
Now, with our new family member, our gorgeous Broil King Baron barbecue, we’ve got all we need to achieve, at home, what we could not before.
We are happy, happy, people!
That was easy!
Nelson slathered the chickens, inside and out, with a thick buttery sauce mixture and stuffed it with a few lemon wedges just before sliding them onto the spit and sending them onto their rotating journey to golden awesomeness.
Speaking of golden awesomeness, those drip pans beneath the chickens were there by design. Yes, they were there to catch drips and keep the barbecue clean. But more importantly, in terms of flavour, they were there to ensure we didn’t lose any of those liquid gold juices.
Some of that is fat, of course, so we spooned out some of the oil and used the remaining ‘sauce’ to drizzle over our chicken (and bread) at dinner.
Excuse me while I drool… again.
Basting? We don’t think you need to.
You might be tempted to baste the chicken throughout the cooking, but we don’t think it’s necessary. While our Baron maintains its temperature very well, you inevitably increase the cooking time if you’re constantly opening the lid.
Also, we don’t believe basting is required for this recipe. The chicken was so tender and juicy just with the initial slather – it didn’t need any more effort. Trust the magic.
The real deal!
This barbecue does rotisserie right! It’s the real deal, baby!
When you’re using the rotisserie, the heat source comes from the back of the barbecue rather than from the bottom. This ensures there are no flare-ups and it keeps a consistent heat across the entire spit–resulting in perfectly even cooking from end to end.
…And it made us feel like a legit Portuguese Churrasqueira, right in our own backyard.
Portuguese rotisserie chicken – made at home – yes! Now we’re talking…and eating well, friends.
Easy Portuguese style rotisserie chicken
- 2 whole chickens (ours were around 3.75 lbs or 1.7 kg each)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened a little more than room temperature, but not to a liquid state.
- 1/4 cup Frank's Original Hot Sauce (or other thick "mild" hot sauce)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges
- Connect your rotisserie attachment to the barbecue.
- Remove the centre cooking grids from barbecue.
- Centre a drip pan (or pans) under the rotisserie, positioning it so it will be beneath the centre of the chickens.
- Turn on the barbecue's rear rotisserie burner and heat it to 400 ºF with the lid closed.
- In a bowl, mix together the butter, Frank's hot sauce, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Remove the chickens from the fridge.
- With clean hands, slather a bit of the sauce mixture inside both chickens and add 3 lemon wedges to each chicken.
- Using kitchen twine, truss* (tie) both chickens tightly.
- Make sure the first spit fork is tightly secured. Position it so that once both chickens are on the spit, they're centred on the spit.
- Insert the first chicken through the spit, wing side opening first, until it reaches the spit fork, and carefully (watch the sharp ends) press it until the chicken is secured to the spit fork.
- Insert the second chicken through the spit until it's snug up against the first chicken.
- Insert the second spit fork on the spit, sharp ends toward the second chicken and push firmly until the second chicken is secure. Both chickens should sit on the spit tightly to avoid wobbling during cooking.
- Open the barbecue lid and fit the spit into the rotisserie motor end and then rest the other end of the spit on the opposite end of the barbecue. Follow your barbecue manufacturer's instructions for this step.
- Turn on the rotisserie motor, close the lid and cook at 400 ºF for about 1 hour and 30 minutes. The time may very depending on the size of the chickens. A thermometer inserted between the thigh and the breast should read 165 ºF.
- Stop the rotisserie motor and remove the spit.
- Loosen and remove the first spit fork.
- Slide both chickens onto a roasting pan to keep your food prep area clean.
- Cut the chickens into quarters or eighths and place the pieces on a serving dish with the cooked lemon wedges.
- Pour the juices from the drip pans into a bowl. Let the fat rise to the top and skim off some of the fat. Serve these juices along side the chicken.
- Serve the chicken with roasted potatoes, fries, salad or any other favourite side. Enjoy!
- Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you're only preparing one chicken.
- *Jacques Pépin offers a great video on how to quickly and easily truss a chicken.