Wow. What a week. One full week off from school and back into the action, 3 days a week. So basically I had a short chance to catch my breath after this spring semester then dove right back in… Someone told me they think I’m motivated, I would beg to differ, I think I may just be insane.
Regardless of all of this, I need to cook some good food and relax at the same time so for tonight’s Thursday Night Dinner (Saturday) I have for you Rotisserie Chicken and Pasta Salad paired with Verdejo.
Today was the first really Hot day of the season, thankfully we’re finally in some “typical” weather and we hit the 90′s today, so the obvious choice for dinner was a grilled or BBQ’d dish… Anything that could be prepared outside as to not cook the house by firing up the oven and burners in the house.
I was thinking that an herb seasoned rotisserie chicken would really hit the spot and wanted to pair it up with something “summery” and light, so I decided on a pasta salad to go along with the chicken.
I’ve done a few rotisserie chickens now and they really are an amazing dish. Super simple to prep and cook (which is a plus when you’re looking to relax a bit).
I did this one slightly different than previous attempts. I took a whole large “Fryer” chicken, removed the giblets and other goodies that chicken processors think you might actually want and washed out the inside and out, dried with a paper towel, inside and out. I made a quick visit to my garden and clipped off about a large handful of fresh rosemary, wash this off and stuff into the cavity of the chicken.
Prepare the chicken by cracking some sea salt, garlic powder, fresh cracked black pepper and some oregano. Place the chicken on the rotisserie skewer and tie up the legs.
Sprinkle seasoning all over the chicken and place on the grill. Start the rotisserie spinning. I place a baking pan below the chicken to catch the drippings to avoid flare ups, something I did differently this time was to add water to the pan and refill the pan as the water evaporated. This added humidity into the cooking environment and probably did some steaming of the chicken, I had to refill the 13×9 pan about 5 times during the cooking. Monitor the grill temperature and maintain it between 250 and 275 Fahrenheit.
The pasta salad was another easy dish. I picked up some klamata and green olives and grape tomatoes at the store earlier. I started a large pot of water boiling, added some salt and oil (to keep pasta from sticking) and once boiling added some fun radiatori pasta. Cook pasta to al dente, about 8 minutes, drain and rinse with cool water. Place in a bowl and put into the refrigerator to cool for at least 1 hour. After cooled, chop up about 1/2 cup each klamata and green olives and 1 cup tomatoes, mix with pasta and 1/3 cup champagne dressing (or Italian) add some crumbled feta cheese.
So I had grand plans of cooking this entire meal outside on the grill but I failed to take into consideration that when the rotisserie is rolling, the lid for the “side burner” on the grill is inaccessible. You know, the side burner, that thing you never ever use. I was actually hoping to use mine (still haven’t even lit the burner…).
One of the best things about cooking meals on the rotisserie is that they take some time and don’t require a whole lot of interaction, which leaves some time to take care of the “Important Things.”
This was an enjoyable afternoon, sipped a few cold ones and played in the water with the boy and the wife, well mostly with the boy but, I digress.
So the chicken should cook on the spit for about 2 1/2 hours at between 250-275 F, I kept the drip pan full of water and refilled it as it evaporated.
Once an instant read thermometer reads about 170 remove the bird from the BBQ and let rest about 10 minutes. Quarter by cutting the bird in half lenghtwise, then in half again. This works out really well for me since I am a dark meat fiend and the wife really prefers white meat.
I had decided to pair it with a light white wine and was thinking Sauvignon Blanc at first but really have been interested in trying something different. I found a nice Verdejo at the local market and the shelf-talker said similar to Sauv Blanc, I decided to take a chance on it and picked it up. A very nice light white wine that I’ll post a review to soon. It went exceptionally well with the rosemary infused chicken, klamata olives and tomatoes in the pasta salad. Here’s to summer finally arriving in Sonoma County, and another “Not Bad for a Thursday Night Dinner” Summer School Edition.