OMG, I just finished eating what may possibly be the best chicken in my 59-year life. I’m wondering if anyone else here has tried this method. If you can better my accidental epiphany, I’m not sure I can stand it…
So, my story begins when I found a twinpack of whole chickens for $1.19/lb (at Costco of all places). I knew I wanted to cook one on the rotisserie, a 1960s Farberware “Open Hearth” electric. I’d used it many times before, with good but less than stellar results.
There wasn’t time to season the bird properly for yesterday’s dinner, so I decided to wait a day and brine the bird. I used Thomas Keller’s brine prep, which didn’t cool until about 10pm last night. Into the cool brine it went, and was refrigerated, rinsed, dried and on a wire rack by 7am. On impulse, I left it out under a mesh flyscreen and turned a fan on it. I got busy, and completely forgot about it until 4pm, at which point it looked grossly overdry.
THEN, Wahine suggested I cold smoke it. This was a genius move! I smoked it in Alder for about an hour (almost no heat), before spitting it up for the rotisserie. 90 minutes of turning, and wow! Crispy skin, moist unctious texture, a smokey permeation of the meat, and no need for any sauce at all. The only way I can describe it is “glistening haute cuisine BBQ”. I’ve probably eaten 3,000 roast chickens done in skillets, kettles, hot smokers, Texas Pits, Green Eggs, imus, regular ovens, ad nauseam, but never like this…
A bonus was the leftover chunked potatoes, tossed in chopped rosemary, that I put under the bird in the drip pan that were basted with fat and jus and browned while the chicken turned.
I think if I’m ever convicted of a capital crime, this is my new Last Meal. The total time was long (I ate leftover salad and Rainier cherries last night while my brine cooled), but the effort/watching wasn’t bad at all.
So, has anyone here also done the short brine + extended drying + cold smoke + rotisserie before? If so, what tricks/tips can you offer?