Basic Recipe Spit-Roasted Chicken & Other Birds
|Broiler fryer chicken||3 1⁄2 Pound (1 Bird)|
Select a broiler-fryer chicken with a breadth of about 4 to 4 1/2 inches.
Rinse and pat dry; remove giblets and reserve for other uses.
If you wish, marinate bird (see Favorite Poultry Marinades and Bastes, at right).
To retain juices, salt after cooking.
Drain bird, if marinated, and run spit through exact center of bird bird's weight must be evenly distributed around the spit or it will drag against the motor.
Set spit forks in breast and thigh and tighten them with your fingers.
Then pick up spit at both ends and turn it.
If one side drags downward, place bird a little more toward the light side or add a balance weight pointed toward the light side.
A very slight tendency to spin doesn't matter, as the motor can overcome it.
Tie wings and legs securely to body.
When bird is balanced, tighten forks with pliers to be sure forks do not loosen during cooking.
Arrange enough glowing coals to form a solid rectangular bed about 6 inches across and extending 3 to 4 inches beyond ends of the chicken Coals should be about 2 inches behind an imaginary wall extending from spit to firebed.
Place metal drip pan directly beneath and in front of spit.
Surface of chicken should be about 5 inches above surface of coals.
Position spit on barbecue and start motor.
As bird cooks, baste frequently.
Add 5 or 6 briquets evenly spaced every 1/2 hour to maintain a constant temperature.
As bird begins to develop a rich brown color, begin testing it for doneness.
Protecting hands with paper towels, press thick part of thigh; when thigh meat is soft, bird is ready to serve.
The total cooking time for a broiler-fryer chicken is 80 to 90 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in fleshy part of thigh (but not touching bone or spit) registers 180° to 185°.
When bird is done, push coals away and let spit turn without heat for about 3 to 5 minutes before carving.