Honey-Cumin Rotisserie Chicken with Butternut Squash, Apricots and Olives
serves four to six
1 whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets removed
6 large garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the marinade:
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons smoked paprika
For the squash:
2 pounds cubed butternut squash
1/3 cup dried apricot halves
1/2 cup green and black assorted whole olives
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pat chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Mince the garlic and sprinkle with the salt and use the side of your chef’s knife to press into a paste. Rub the chicken inside and out with the garlic paste. Place the chicken in a large resealable plastic bag and set aside while you make the marinade.
Stir together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and then pour into the bag with the chicken. Squeeze the extra air from the bag and seal. Turn the bag several times to make sure the marinade coats the inside of the chicken as well. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and as long as overnight.
Remove from refrigerator an hour before firing up the grill; remove from the marinade and pat dry. Truss the chicken for even cooking — if trussing is too much, then tie the drumsticks together and tuck the wings under behind the back.
Place all the ingredients for the squash in a drip pan and toss well to combine.
Prepare the grill for indirect/rotisserie cooking by lighting the outer burners to medium. The inside temperature of the grill should be 300°F to 350°F. Place the drip pan with the squash in the center below the bird leave the grates off giving the chicken plenty of room to spin freely.
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. Depending on your grill (and how cold it might be outside), the chicken will take somewhere between 75 to 90 minutes. After 60 minutes or so, stop the rotisserie motor and check the internal temperature to gauge how fast it is cooking. Once the breast hits 160°F and the thigh registers 170°F, turn off rotisserie motor and transfer the spit and roast 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. Transfer to a platter and serve with roasted squash.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!