Lemon-Tarragon Rotisserie Chicken

I love roast chicken and this is one of my favorites. The chicken has a tarragon-lemon-garlic mixture that goes under the skin and in the cavity. I purchased a Showtime Rotisserie several years ago, which I love. I don’t think there’s a better way to cook whole poultry. Best of all, it self-bastes and cooks both legs and breast evenly, and the skin turns crisp and golden brown. A great side dish for this chicken dish is  oven-roasted red potatoes, shallots, carrots, fennel, Brussels sprouts and garlic in extra-virgin olive, salt, pepper and a dried herbes de Provence.

Lemon-Tarragon Rotisserie Chicken

Serves 4-6

1 four- to five-pound whole roasting chicken

1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt, divided

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½  cup chopped fresh parsley

¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon

10 garlic cloves, minced

zest and juice of 1 small lemon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Remove giblets from the chicken and either toss or freeze for another purpose.

Thoroughly rinse and clean the chicken; all juices should run clear under water. Pat dry and set on a cutting board. Slip your fingers under the breast and wiggle them until the entire skin separates from the flesh. Then take your fingers and run them under the thigh and leg skin. If the skin rips a bit, don’t worry, you can fix it with a couple of toothpicks. Repeat on the other side. Season the cavity with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set the chicken aside.

Combine the parsley, tarragon, garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper together in a small bowl.

Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and place inside the seasoned chicken cavity. Scoop one-half of the mixture onto one side of the chicken and using your fingers, spread evenly over the breast and down onto the leg and thigh. Repeat on the other side. Now rub the tablespoon of herb mixture inside the cavity.

Tie the chicken and season with remaining salt and pepper.

At this point you can either cook the bird or wrap it in film and store it in the refrigerator until dinner.

To cook: take the chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Place the chicken on the skewers and into the rotisserie. The rotisserie cooks faster than the oven, about 45-50 minutes. Internal temperature should read 175ºF.

Oven roasting:

Preheat the oven to 375ºF (350ºF if using a convection oven).

From here you have two options:

1. Roast in a separate pan on a rack. This option allows you to drain excess fat.

2. Place chicken over root vegetables and roast together. This option allows the fat to drip onto the root vegetables. Delicious, yes, but a higher fat content. You decide.

Roast for an hour and ten minutes, check internal temperature, and adjust time, if necessary.

Note: To repair ripped breast skin, just pull the skin together and weave a toothpick through one side and then the other.


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