Buttermilk-Brined Rotisserie Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min (plus 4 hr brining)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
Trussing this chicken and securing it on the rotisserie spit is key for even cooking and browning. The buttermilk brine is flavorful and adds a nice spice.



Special equipment:
a rotisserie grill attachment, kitchen twine and a disposable drip pan
  1. Make the brine: Heat 1 cup water, 1/4 cup salt, the brown sugar, garlic, coriander seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the salt dissolves. Let cool completely.
  2. Put the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in the brine and buttermilk; seal the bag. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight, turning once or twice. 
  3. About 30 minutes before grilling, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Let sit at room temperature. 
  4. Prepare a grill with a rotisserie attachment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat the grill to medium and prepare for indirect cooking: On a gas grill, turn off the center burner(s); on a charcoal grill, bank the coals to the sides.
  5. Combine the butter, vinegar, ground coriander, garlic powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Set aside.
  6. Truss the chicken with kitchen twine: Tie the legs together and tie the wings close to the body so the chicken is a round shape. Once the grill registers 325˚ F to 350˚ F, slide the chicken onto the rotisserie spit. Insert the prongs on the rod into the chicken so it’s snug; secure with the thumbscrews. (If the twine loosens, tie again.) Place the rod onto the rotisserie with a drip pan underneath; turn the rotisserie on. 
  7. Cover the grill and cook, basting the chicken with the butter mixture every 30 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 165˚ and the skin is browned and crisp, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (If using a charcoal grill, add coals as needed to maintain a temperature of 325˚ F to 350˚ F.)
  8. Turn off the rotisserie. For a gas grill, turn off the grill and let the chicken rest on the rod for 10 minutes before carving. For charcoal, lay the chicken, on the rod, on a foil-lined baking sheet and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Cook’s Note

Bank the coals to the sides and put a drip pan in the middle so it will catch any juices from the chicken and prevent flare-ups.