Olive Oil & Herb Rotisserie Hanukkah Chicken

Although chicken has become a main stay in most peoples diet, there is still something so special and celebratory about a perfectly roasted whole chicken.

Growing up, mom would always make a whole roasted chicken on Hanukkah. She would always tell the story of my Bubbie’s (my grandmother's) matzo ball soup.  She told of how flavorful it was because her husband, the butcher, always gave her two whole chickens to make her broth. I still remember those stories and the perfectly roasted chickens carved table-side that made childhood celebrations so special.

However, many cooks find roasting a whole chicken to be quite a daunting experience and spend valuable time fretting about the method of cooking it. Should you start the chicken on high temperature to crisp it and then lower it? Or roasting it longer at a lower temperature… and what about pans? Roasting pan with a rack, cast iron pan, large casserole with lid?? That’s why this holiday season I am so happy to be using my Ronco Rotisserie to roast my Hanukkah Chicken.  You get perfectly roasted chicken every time with zero guess work.

Hanukkah 2015 begins this Sunday the 6th and ends Monday the 14th. I am certainly rotisserie roasting at least one chicken this year.  On Hanukkah, we celebrate with foods that are cooked in butter or oil. This recipe for Olive Oil & Herb Rotisserie Hanukkah Chicken is the perfect way to celebrate the festival of lights!

Olive Oil & Herb Rotisserie Hanukkah Chicken


  • 1, 5 lb. roasting chicken
  • ½ tablespoon Kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley, thyme, marjoram or oregano), finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • ½ white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, coarsely chopped
  • Handful fresh parsley, not chopped



  1. Wash and completely dry your chicken.  Set aside on a cutting board.

Fresh herbs from garden with olive oil seasoning background

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine kosher salt, pepper, minced garlic, fresh herbs, and olive oil. Stir to make herb rub.
  1. Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast meat, being careful to not to tear the skin.  Work your finger down along the chicken to loosen as much skin as possible. Flip bird over and loosen skin on the underside as well.
  1. Rub the cavity of the chicken and under the skin on both sides with the olive oil herb rub.


  1. Set chicken uncovered in fridge and allow to sit for at least 4 hours and up to 8. This step allows the chicken to quickly brine and marinate in the herbs.
  1. Remove chicken from refrigerator and stuff cavity with lemon, celery, onion, parsnip, and fresh parsley. Season outside of chicken with freshly cracked pepper.
  1. Allow chicken to sit out for about 30 minutes to take the chill off.
  1. Place onto rotisserie spit and truss the chicken
  1. Cook in your rotisserie for 15-16 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165º F at the place where the leg meets the breast.
  1. Set rotisserie to NO HEAT ROTATE and let your chicken rest and rotate for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with latkes of course!


Chef's notes: Reserve pan drippings for Schmaltz

Happy Hanukkah