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Sweet & Spicy Lemon Rotisserie Chicken

Posted by Chef Perry P. Perkins on

Sweet & Spicy Lemon Rotisserie Chicken

~Chef Perry Perkins~

This recipe is great on a sandwich, chopped into a salad, cubed and tosses with angel-hair pasta, or just on its own!

  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ cup chopped rosemary
  • 4 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Chinese hot mustard
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 large roasting chicken, rinsed
  • 2 large lemon, 1 rind cut off, 1 ¼ inch sliced

Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, vegetable oil, mustard, honey, salt, paprika and red pepper in your blender, and blend until smooth.

Pour marinade into a large zip bag. Add the chicken, seal the bag and flip it a few times to coat the chicken in marinade. Pop it in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.

Move marinated chicken to your countertop 1 hour before roasting.

Light 16lbs (1 bag) of Kingsford charcoal at one end of your Caja China. Light just the front edge of the coals, so that the coals burn slowly from front to back.

Truss the chicken to keep the wings and legs tight against the body (floppy chickens and rotisseries do not work well together!) Thread chicken onto skewer (I like to add a peeled lemon on the end, to help keep everything else inside.

Run the spit-forks, spikes first, up the skewer and push firmly into the chicken. Tighten the wingnuts on the sit-forks to keep them in place. Insert skewer into the upright poles and set square end into motor slot. Turn the rotisserie on.

If you plan to make gravy, add a drip pan with a little water, directly below the chicken.

Rake ½ of the lit coals to the far end of the coal grate (under the chicken). Rake some more to that end, leaving an open slot directly under the chicken.

Roast approximately 2 hours, raking more coals under the chicken as needed until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F. Remove from heat and allow to rest, tenting in foil, for at least 15 minutes.

While the chickens are resting, go ahead and lay your lemon slices on the grill, removing to a warm plate, once they have some nice grill marks on one side.

Serve with grilled lemon slices, steamed rice, and freshly chopped cilantro.

Chef’s Tip: Reading a Recipe

2 Tbs. chopped rosemary vs. 2 Tbs. rosemary, chopped

This is a sneaky little recipe trap that snares a lot of Home Chefs. Where the verb (in this example, "chopped") is, completely changes the portion of the ingredient.

2 Tbs. chopped rosemary

Chop enough rosemary so that, once chopped, it fill two Tablespoons.

2 Tbs. rosemary, chopped

Take enough un-chopped rosemary to fill 2 Tablespoons, and THEN chop it.

As you can see, this simple sentence rearrangement can make a BIG difference in the flavor (or spiciness) of a finished dish.

As you can see, this simple sentence rearrangement can make a BIG difference in the flavor (or spiciness) of a finished dish.

Happy Roasting!

~Chef Perry

PS ~ This marinate was fantastic with grilled shrimp, as well!

As a third-generation chef, Perry P. Perkins focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry runs the non-profit organization, MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes for at risk youth.

His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, La Caja China Party, and the NEW “La Caja China Grill.”

You can follow the rest of Chef Perry’s cooking adventures at

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