I hardly ever pick up a Rotisserie Chicken when I’m out and about. And it’s not that I don’t enjoy one when I do have one. There’s just something about that juicy, salty deliciousness. I think it’s more that I’m just so used to cooking from scratch, it just doesn’t occur to me. But what if I could make my own Rotisserie-Style Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed) at home?
See for a long time, I didn’t think it could be done. I just didn’t think I could pull off a home-cooked Rotisserie Chicken with all that flavor and juiciness without owning my own rotisserie. I’m happy to say I was wrong. (And to tell the truth, I’m happy that I didn’t have to buy a rotisserie, not just because of the cost, but because I didn’t want to clean it or store it, either.)
About Rotisserie Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed):
Regardless of your reasons why you probably wouldn’t be here if you weren’t contemplating making this deliciousness at home! They’ve become so popular at so many stores, especially the large ones at Walmart, Sam’s, and Costco. And they might be at your grocery store, although the price may be higher. But there are many reasons why you might want to make your own Rotisserie-Style Chicken at home.
Maybe you can’t get one where you live. Or you might be concerned about food safety or recalls. Maybe it’s the long list of ingredients or the amount of sodium that stops you in your tracks. Or maybe it’s just the cost. If you’re a big number cruncher like I am, you know that the pound for pound, a sales priced chicken cooked at home beats out the cost of a store-bought one & that cost is multiplied if you need more than one. (see below)
But you can mimic all that addictive Rotisserie Chicken taste at home, by whipping up your own special blend of spices like my own Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning (or buying one of the commercial Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning) and cooking it at home! It’s super easy, takes hardly any time at all, and you can make several at a time if needed. Oh, and there are no worries about transporting that hot chicken and spilling all those juices in your car! I hate that, don’t you?
Making Rotisserie Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed):
The method to make your Rotisserie-Style Chicken couldn’t be easier and I’ll walk you through it all. First of all, don’t wash your chicken before cooking them; in years past, that was recommended but it’s been found that all you’re really likely to do is spread potential contamination through multiple areas of your kitchen. There’s also no need to brine these smaller chickens; they cook so quickly that they don’t spend enough time to dry out in the oven. So two steps skipped!
One thing to note, these smaller chickens really do make the best “no rotisserie” chickens. The flavor is so much better with a small chicken and they cook up tender and juicy using this method. I’ve tried adapting the flavors to larger chickens and they’re good, but don’t have the fabulousness that really comes through in a smaller chicken – so watch the size!
As far as preparing, just mix up or ready your spices, get out a good cutting board or working surface, and set your chicken on it. Take a peek in the neck cavity and the nether cavity and remove anything that might be stuffed in there. Sometimes you’ll find the neck and/or giblets, and sometimes there will be nothing. Then truss the chicken. I do not recommend skipping that step! Check out my post “How to Truss a Chicken in One Minute” if you’d like.
Then you’ll rub the chicken with the seasoning, as much or as little as you like. I like to put it on heavily and use all the seasoning with a lesser amount of salt. My son actually prefers it saltier with the full teaspoon of salt, but that’s partially a generational thing I think.
Cooking & Testing your Rotisserie Chicke:
Next, plop it on a rack over a pan and roast until done. Easy peasy. The chicken is done when the temperature taken in the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees. It’s funny, but that term is a bit vague, given that it’s so important from a food safety perspective. What they mean is the thickest part of the inner thigh, and below is the photo from the USDA Food Safety Division. Sometimes you’ll see people put the thermometer on the outside portion of the thigh but that’s really not as accurate.
You can test by checking the leg (this is harder to do when trussed) and the chicken is done when the leg is easily wiggled, others test to see if the juices are clear in the cavity and if the chicken is pierced. Those methods are not as accurate. If by chance, and I don’t see this issue with the smaller chickens, the breast meat is done and as you cut further into the chicken you are not comfortable with the way it is looking, you can always remove the breast meat and plop the chicken back in the oven, covered, for a few more minutes.
Saving Money on Rotisserie Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed):
Look for your chickens at a low and pick them up when the price is right. Today’s smaller chickens don’t take up a lot of room in the freezer, although they are not the most space-effective items. I can usually find a space for a few when the price is right. In my area, the good sales run anywhere 69 cents a pound and up to 99 cents a pound, and every now and then they’ll be a sale that drops a bit lower. This chicken ran about $3.66 to make, weighed about 3 1/2 pounds, and was sold for 99 cents a pound.
You might not have considered that chickens are “seasonal.” You’ll find some of the best pricing and the greatest availability of these smaller chickens right after Easter. There are so many additional young layers needed to boost the production of eggs for the holiday, that after Easter, they’re no longer needed. They’re headed “to market.” If you have a freezer, take advantage!
Now if you walk over to the uncooked chickens in the refrigerator case at just any old time and take a look at them, not paying any attention to size, and comparing them to the $5.00 cost of some of the retailing giants for a rotisserie chicken, you might just think rotisserie chicken is a much better deal than it is.
If you pay attention to the sales, you’ll find sales-priced chicken, and sometimes chickens not on sale, about the same size as a rotisserie chicken (usually 2 1/2 to 3 pounds at the larger retailers) is always going to be the better deal as long as you are paying under $1.65 per pound for your chicken. If you’re paying at a store where the chickens are smaller for $4.99 or they are more than $4.99, your savings by cooking your own is even greater.
You’ll always pay for convenience, but it’s never a bad idea to do so with open eyes. If you’re one to ask what about the spices and oven time? Those are pennies, and most likely less than the sales tax on your store-bought chicken. BTW, no judgment, there are a lot of worse convenience products in terms of cost, taste, and health risks.Print
Rotisserie-Style Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed)
It’s super easy to make Rotisserie-Style Chicken (No Rotisserie Needed) at home. It’s fabulous, you control the ingredients & it can cost less than store-bought.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: up to 1 1/2 hours
- Total Time: 1 hr 40 minutes or less
- Yield: 3 to 4 servings 1x
- Category: Poultry
- Cuisine: American
- 1 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 pound chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon oil
- spice rub, commercial or homemade, as little or as much as you want; see below for homemade seasoning
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Remove any giblets or neck from chicken. Mix up spice rub if making homemade. Sprinkle a little bit of the rub inside the chicken cavity. Truss chicken. Rub with the oil. Sprinkle additional seasoning on the chicken, as much or as little as you wish. Place on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings.
Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours until chicken is cooked through (internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh is 165.) If the breast meat reaches 165 sooner or begins to brown too much, cover it lightly with foil. As a rule, this isn’t an issue with these smaller chickens.
If desired, tent lightly with foil and rest for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.
Rotisserie Chicken Spice Rub:
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Mix all ingredients together. Sprinkle on chicken.
Keywords: Bargain Meal of the Week, Chicken, Rotisserie Chicken