Here is an easy to put together weeknight meal that can be cooked either on the rotisserie or with indirect heat. Whole roasted chicken seasoned with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cherry tomatoes, olives, chunks of lemon and scallions are roasted in the pan drippings beneath to rotating chicken. Finish it up with crumbled feta and chopped cilantro and serve with a side of rice or couscous and a tossed salad.
Rotisserie Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes and Olives
serves four to six
One 4- to 4 1/2 pound whole chicken
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano (substitute marjoram, or Mediterranean oregano)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup Spanish olives
1 small to medium sized lemon
3 scallions, trimmed
1 jalapeno (optional)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (Mexican Cotija cheese would work well)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley)
Rotisserie or indirect heat
Set up grill rotisserie or indirect heat cooking. Stabilize temperature at 375ºF. Place a drip pan below where the chicken will spin or sit.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Mix together the salt, oregano, pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the spice mix in the cavity of the chicken along the backbone and the remainder over the entire outside. Use a piece of butchers twine to tie the legs together and then tuck the wings under the back. Skewer and center the bird onto the spit and secure tightly with the tines. Place the loaded spit onto the motor over the drip pan. Start the rotisserie and cover the grill and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes and olives in a bowl. Cut the lemon into eight wedges and then cut each wedge into four or five pieces and add to the tomatoes and olives. Cut the scallions into 1-inch lengths and add to the bowl. If using a jalapeno, remove the stem and cut into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membrane and then thinly slice and add to the bowl.
After the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, stop the rotisserie and carefully slide the drip pan forward a bit. Add the tomato mixture and stir to coat with the pan drippings. Slide the drip pan back into position, restart the rotisserie and close the grill cover. Cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes or until the the internal temperature of the breast hits 160°F and the thigh registers 170°F. Turn off rotisserie motor and transfer the spit and chicken to a cutting board. Leave the bird on the spit. Tent loosely with foil and let rest 10 minutes before removing the spit. Cut away the string used for trussing and cut the chicken into serving pieces.
Arrange chicken on a serving platter and spoon the roasted tomatoes and goodies over and around the chicken. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta and chopped cilantro. Serve hot with rice or couscous and a tossed salad for a complete meal.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!