I have been feeling a little bad about my Rotisserie Chicken Showdown, a little bit like a hypocrite. I mean, it is easy to criticize someone else’s efforts, but had I ever made a rotisserie chicken, or a rotisserie anything for that matter? No. Never. I had talked the talk, but never walked the walk. Had never put my chicken where my mouth was. I was just a critic. It’s easy to be a critic.
A year and half or so ago, my best friend had told me that he and his partner had bought one of those old Farberware Open Hearth Broiler rotisseries on eBay for about a hundred bucks. I didn’t know you could do that at the time, but remembered those things from the late sixties and early seventies. Those machines were awesome and I was a little envious of his purchase. Well, in the middle of last year I started flirting with the things on eBay, surfing through their pictures that way I surfed through personals ads on OKCupid, and thought that someday I might have one of my own.
In December, I made the decision, I was going to get one as my Christmas present for myself. (Okay, the Christmas thing was just a goofy excuse, but there you go.) Again I surfed the ads on eBay and Amazon. eBay has a lot of them for sale, used, since Farberware stopped making them long ago. Many of them are refurbished by people who do that as a living: buy them up, fix them up, sell them up. I looked around and looked around and, completely by accident, I found one seller who said they had one that was brand new and still in the box. It was up for auction AND had a Buy It Now option, AND it was less expensive than a refurbished used one. WHAT!!?? How was that possible? It has to be thirty years old, for chrissake. So I bought the thing right there. With shipping, it cost as much as most of the units I saw on eBay before adding shipping. Woo Hoo!
Because of weather, it too forever to arrive (the seller lived in North Carolina), but there it was, new in box and never used. A pristine time capsule. I pulled it out and put it together, which is quite easy: companies now could take a lesson. I hadn’t seen one of those since the early seventies and now I had one on my dining room table. Nice.
Well, tonight, after about a week and a half, I made my first rotisserie chicken. I took my bird and soaked it in teriyaki overnight (heavy on the garlic and ginger thank you) and I skewered that thing and spun it around on my new Farberware machine for about two hours.
Now, I have to say that my house was not built for a Farberware rotisserie, which has a very large heating element, and anything with a heating element draws a lot of power. And so I learned tonight that I have to be judicious about where I plug it in. If I plug it into the original circuit, I cannot run my washing machine and cook a bird at the same time. But if I unplug my espresso machine, I can. So I either have to continue using that one kitchen plug when I want to use my new rotisserie, or I have to rewire my kitchen. So I can eat spit-roasted poultry. It’s a dilemma.
Anyway, the bird spun around and spun around, looking tastier and tastier while I read my book. Finally I took it off the spit and cut off a moist and glistening drumstick and, I have to say, I Am The Man. That was one of the best pieces of chicken I have ever had. It was amazing. I know, I know, I am supposed to say that about my own food. But, believe me, I have screwed up A LOT of food and I do not mind admitting when I have screwed something up. In fact I tend to point out what is wrong with my cooking even when it is good. But this was awesome. Tender, bursting with balanced flavor, moist and juicy and generally awesome. I was having foodgasms. Big ones. Sigh.
So, next I will experiment with rubs and marinades and what not. But never fear, I will continue to look for the commercial birds as well. I’ll just be able to do it with e clean conscience.