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Monday, March 19, 2012

Chipotle Marinaded Rotisserie Chicken

I recently purchased the rotisserie attachment for my Weber kettle grill and have to say it is a great accessory. I have been very pleased with the performance and great charcoal flavor you get when roasting a chicken. My first rotisserie adventure was to make gyros so I thought I would go with something simple and flavorful. Rotisserie chickens can be purchased a most grocery deli counters as it is an easy pick up and  go meal. Making one at home is quite easy and you can flavor it any way you like. I used a homemade chipotle sauce and let the chicken marinade overnight. It was great on tortillas and I even made a mexican lasagna layering chicken, beans, mexican rice and used flour tortillas as the noodles, but that is another post. Here is how I made the Chipotle marinaded chicken.

Chipotle Marinade Ingredients

1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup of honey
1 small bunch cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of your favorite mexican beer


Add all of the marinade ingredients to a large plastic bowl. I like to use the submersion blender (boat motor) and blend it until smooth. I then take the chicken and trim away any loose fat from the bird. The loose fat will cause flare ups while cooking. I like to separate the skin from the bird to allow the marinade to soak more into the meat. I do this by gently sliding my fingers under the skin not removing it but just separating the membrane from the meat. I like to use latex or nitrile gloves when I am prepping meat especially when dealing with pepper based sauces and marinades. I then take the marinade and make sure to get some under the skin and coating the entire outside of the chicken. There should be enough to put the chicken breast down in your mixing bowl and submerge the bird in the marinade. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it marinade overnight if possible.

Once the chicken has marinaded overnight I pull it out of the marinade and letting the excess drip in the bowl. Save the marinade it will come in handy as a basting sauce later. I then sprinkle the chicken with a simple dry rub mixture to layer more flavor on the chicken.

Mexican dry rub

2 tablespoons mexican chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Blend all the rub ingredients together thoroughly and sprinkle on the outside of the marinaded chicken. Allow the chicken to come up to room temperature prior to roasting. I like to center the chicken on the rotisserie spit and tie up the legs with some butcher's twine. I also remove the wing tips as they will become burnt during the roasting process. Prepare a one zone fire using a charcoal caddy to medium heat. I like using the charcoal caddy so I can easily move the heat source during the cooking process. Soak a handful of mesquite wood chips in water for an hour prior to cooking this will add some great smoky flavor to the chicken. I let the chicken roast for about 1 hour adding 5 charcoal briquettes and a small handful of wood chips to the fire every 30 minutes. After 1 hour check the internal temperature of the bird with and instant read thermometer in the breast without hitting the bone. It should be around 100 degrees. I then take the reserved marinade and begin basting the chicken as it roasts allowing it to cook for about 15 minutes between bastes this helps the sauce get nice and sticky on the outside. After 2 hours your should be approaching your final temperature I always check the breast and shoot for 165 degrees. Once your bird reaches 165 take off the rotisserie and wrap in foil and allow it rest for 25-30 minutes on the counter. During the resting period the temperature will come up another 5-8 degrees. 

I took half the chicken and shredded it up and wrapped it in a warm flour tortilla with some lettuce, cheese, and some fresh salsa, It was fantastic. The other half I saved for "Mexican Lasagna" blog post to come soon. Enjoy!

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