Apple cider isn’t just for fall with this delicious recipe from Chef Chris Koetke. In fact, this Apple Cider Glazed Rotisserie Chicken is one of his favorite recipes all year. Once you have a taste of the sweet maple syrup and a bite of black pepper, we’re sure you’ll see why!
The minute you take the chicken off the grill and bring it inside, the sweet and sugary smell of cinnamon, maple syrup, and apple cider will make its way into your kitchen—and have the kids running down the stairs before you can say “dinnertime.” It’s an easy recipe to throw on your grill, but it will look and taste like you spent hours slaving away.
Why You’ll Want to Try This Apple Cider Glazed Rotisserie Chicken Recipe
Picture this: a bird roasted to perfection on the grill, infused with the sweet embrace of maple syrup and the subtle kick of black pepper. It’s a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate, harmonizing in a way that’s simply irresistible. This is the kind of recipe that transcends seasons, making any mealtime a special occasion.
An Overview of Ingredients and Directions
We dive into the heart of this recipe with a large roasting chicken—a canvas for culinary artistry. But what truly elevates this dish is the brine. A concoction of water, kosher salt, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and dried thyme comes together, creating a symphony of flavors that the chicken luxuriates in for hours. As the grill’s heat works its magic, you’ll sense the fragrant notes of cinnamon and thyme weaving through the air.
Once the chicken emerges from its flavorful soak, it’s time to tie and secure it onto the rotisserie, ensuring a perfect rotation on the grill. And then, the pièce de résistance—our apple cider glaze. Apple cider, real maple syrup, and freshly ground black pepper dance in a saucepan, reducing to a delectable thickness that promises a burst of flavor with every brushstroke.
As the chicken takes its leisurely spin on the grill, the apple cider glaze becomes its companion, brushed on lovingly every few minutes. This is where the magic truly unfolds—the melding of flavors, the sizzle of anticipation, and the transformation of ingredients into a masterpiece that’s almost too good to believe.
Why is Brining the Chicken Essential?
Brining, in essence, is a culinary alchemy that elevates both flavor and tenderness. It’s a technique that works its magic by infusing the meat with a harmonious blend of seasonings and moisture, resulting in a symphony of taste sensations.
Imagine this: as the chicken rests in the brine—a blend of water, kosher salt, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and dried thyme—it undergoes a transformative soak. The osmosis process allows the brine’s magic to seep into every fiber, enhancing the chicken’s natural essence with a delicate dance of flavors. This infusion isn’t solely about taste; it’s also a guardian of tenderness, ensuring each bite delivers a succulent experience that lingers on the palate.
However, if time is a rare commodity, fret not. While brining undeniably enhances the end result, it’s not a non-negotiable step. Should circumstances demand a quicker route to that juicy, glazed perfection, you can opt to skip the brining process.
A quick pivot in your culinary approach can accommodate this adjustment. Be sure to make adjustments in cooking times, ensuring the chicken still emerges from the grill as a masterpiece of flavors and textures—a testimony to the flexible nature of exceptional cooking.
Apple Cider Glazed Rotisserie Chicken
- 1 large roasting chicken
- 4 qts. water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaf
- 4 cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Brining the Chicken:
- In a large pot, combine water, kosher salt, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and dried thyme leaves to make the brine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from heat and let it cool.
- Once cooled, refrigerate the brine until very cold.
- Submerge the chicken in the brine, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 hours.
Preparing the Chicken for the Grill:
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat it dry.
- Tie the chicken with butcher’s twine to secure the legs and wings for even cooking on the rotisserie.
Grilling the Chicken:
- Preheat the grill to low heat.
- Place the chicken on the rotisserie spit and cage.
- Grill the chicken on low heat, with the top open, for approximately 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
Creating the Apple Cider Glaze:
- While the chicken grills, combine apple cider, real maple syrup, and freshly ground black pepper in a saucepan.
- Reduce the mixture over high heat until it thickens. Set aside to cool.
Glazing and Serving:
- After about 25 minutes of grilling, start brushing the chicken with the apple cider glaze every 5 minutes.
- Once the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165°F, remove it from the grill.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before carving.
- Serve the Apple Cider Glazed Rotisserie Chicken with additional glaze on the side.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Pat the chicken dry after brining to help achieve crispy skin.
- Customize the glaze by adjusting the amount of black pepper for your preferred level of spiciness.
Nutritions (Per Serving):
- Calories: 450 kcal
- Total Fat: 18g
- Saturated Fat: 5g
- Cholesterol: 140mg
- Sodium: 550mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 40g
- Dietary Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 35g
- Protein: 30g
FAQs on Apple Cider Glazed Rotisserie Chicken Recipe
Can I use a different type of poultry for this recipe?
While this recipe is designed for chicken, you can experiment with other poultry like turkey with similar results.
What type of wood chips work well for grilling?
Fruitwood chips like apple or cherry add a delightful smokiness that complements the glaze.
Can I use a gas grill for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a gas grill with a rotisserie attachment. Follow the temperature guidelines for low heat.
Can I substitute dried thyme with fresh thyme?
Yes, you can use fresh thyme. Use about three times the amount of dried thyme called for in the recipe.
Do I need to rinse the chicken after brining?
No, you don’t need to rinse it. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels to ensure crispy skin.
Can I use a different type of syrup instead of maple syrup?
While real maple syrup adds a unique flavor, you can substitute it with honey or another syrup of your choice.
What’s the purpose of using cinnamon sticks in the brine?
Cinnamon adds a subtle warmth and depth to the brine, infusing the chicken with a hint of spice.