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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sticky Tandoori Rotisserie Chicken



One of my absolute favourite ways to do a roast chicken is slow and low in the oven. You end up with a delicious, fall apart bird with really dry, crispy skin - it's kind of like the best possible version of a bubble chicken from the rotisserie at the grocery store. I am not ashamed to admit that a Loblaw's bubble chicken is one of my favourite stand by dinners and that it also provides enough meat for chicken quesadillas on night two and the bones make a delicious sopa de lima that we enjoy on night three.

When I was a kid, roast chicken was always a cheap meal that could feed our big family but somewhere along the line, chicken slowly became more expensive and a full priced, medium sized whole chicken can now cost well over $12. That is one of the reasons why we often just spend $9 and get one that is already cooked and ready to eat.  The fact that it also comes home in a handy plastic bubble pack is just a bonus if you ask me.



When whole chickens go on sale though, The Neighbours and I stock up - The Neighbours bbq beer can chickens with theirs and I make this. To change things up a bit, I decided to use tandoori masala as my rub and serve it with raita. I was a bit worried that the tandoori spices might be a bit harsh without either yogurt or butter as a binder but it was really tasty and I will totally do this again.  I also played with the temp/time a bit since it was a last minute decision and I didn't put it in the oven until about 2:45 and I didn't want to eat dinner at 8pm. Instead of cooking it the tried and true 5 hrs at 250F, I cooked it for 4 hrs at 280F. There was no real science behind this decision, it just seemed like a reasonable compromise. The cooking method worked out perfectly but if you have the time, I still recommend cooking it for 5 hrs at 250F but, in a pinch, 4 hrs at 280F is the ticket.

Now, because I am an honest sort of guy, I will admit to you that I made mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes to serve with the chicken. We have not had any sort of potato in this house since we started that no carb diet a couple of months ago so this was a really big deal. I used the butter that was in the butter dish and did not taste it first. After taking a huge bite of potatoes, Shack asked me "did you put blue cheese in the potatoes?"

He hates blue cheese.
There was not a hint of blue cheese in the potatoes.
There was, on the other hand, lots of butter that had been sitting on the counter in the butter dish.
Do I need to go on?
We did not eat the potatoes so our carb free bodies live another day.




Sticky Tandoori Rotisserie Chicken
adapted from my Sticky Rotisserie Chicken

1 whole chicken
1 whole onion      (my chicken had a tiny cavity so I had to quarter mine lengthwise and shove it in)
2 cloves garlic
tandoori masala -  either homemade or a good quality spice mix - I used a spice mix this time

Preheat the oven to 280F

You just rub the chicken (make sure the giblets etc are out of the cavity and rinse it in cold water and dry off with a paper towel) with whatever spice rub you want, ideally let it sit for a few hours or overnight, stuff an onion and the garlic clove in the cavity and then throw it in a 280F oven for 4 hrs and walk away. I didn't rub it before hand but if you actually plan your dinner ahead of time like most people, it is better if you can rub it at least a few hours before and leave it, uncovered, on a plate in the fridge until it's time to cook it.

It's that easy. No basting, no nothing. Five hours later you will have the most delicious, crispy skinned chicken imaginable and your family will love you forever. I remove the chicken to a platter to rest and pour off all of the juices in the roasting pan and let them sit, skim off all of the fat and then just serve the remaining pan drippings as is.    
                            
Raita
1/2 cup greek yogurt
finely diced cucumber (i diced about a 3" chunk from an english cucumber)
1heaping tbls chopped cilantro
juice of half lemon
pinch kosher salt

mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.