Written by Roxannah Hunter
Kapinos’ philosophy toward dinner parties from part 1 of our blog is echoed by Rafe Hottestein, chef at Greenfield Restaurant, who draws culinary inspiration from what is in season. His approach to cooking uses the best ingredients available prepared with impeccable technique. Hottenstein suggests serving Rotisserie Chicken prepared with three simple ingredients: thyme, lemon, and your favorite BBQ seasoning (Hottenstein’s choice, Hardcore Carnivore Red available on Amazon). Again, the trick is in the technique. In this case, a rotisserie attachment affixed to your outdoor grill.
The beauty in this dish is its simplicity because it creates space. Space to spend time with guests or to enjoy a momentary respite from dinner party preparations. “I literally read a book,” admits Hottenstein, after attaching the chicken to the rotisserie.
The additional time also allows hosts time to prepare Hottenstein’s different sauces that transform the chicken from the what is expected to something entirely new. The decision to choose between delicious offerings such as a whole grain mustard sauce, habanero peach salsa, or buttermilk aioli becomes ridiculous when the desire to try all three is this great. Providing guests with these customizable options allows them to opportunity to explore new culinary tastes while personalizing their own dish.
In essence, these simple and fresh recipes direct me back to what is at the heart of entertaining- spending time with the people I love. If my time is enslaved by planning elaborate menus or executing complicated dishes, I have lost the opportunity to make meaningful connections with others. Hosting is not about impressing. It’s about sharing. Sharing food and sharing life.
This holiday season will be a different one in my home as I move away from the idea of hosting to the application of it. As the cold closes in outside, I have the opportunity to create warmth from within. Hopefully these recipes will help you do the same.
1 whole chicken
Your favorite BBQ rub (or make your own)
1 lemon halved
Fresh thyme sprigs
Carefully rub the outside of the chicken, allowing it to marinate at least 2 hours. Set your grill/rotisserie/smoker to 250-275 degrees. Stuff the chicken with the halved lemon and thyme sprig. Using butchers twine, carefully truss the chicken, meaning tie the legs together and wrap around the breast and neck to ensure even cooking. Place the chicken on the rotisserie and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the bird, cooking to an internal temperature to 150 degrees. Allow to rest at least 30 minutes before serving.
Sauces: Whole Grain Mustard
1 C whole grain mustard
1/2 C dijon
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 Tbl tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
Bring all ingredients to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and serve.