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Feb 3, 2007 09:51 AM

Tying a Rotisserie Chicken

I'm getting ready to roast a 4 pound chicken in my new electric rotisserie oven. The elastic chicken ties I've ordered haven't arrived yet. Until I get them, would household twine be safe/effective to use to tie up the legs & wings? How about toothpicks to hold them in place?

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  1. When you say "household twine," are you talking about the kind of rough twine that is used to wrap packages? If so, you should not use it. For trussing a chicken, you need to use butcher's twine, which is especially made for this purpose and is safe.

    As far as toothpicks go, whether wooden (not safe) or long metal ones, they would not be sufficient to hold the chicken together as it turns on the spit.

    1. I'd say it depends on what kind of twine. Heavy COTTON cord, of the sort used to mark seedling rows and the like, is mostly what I use. It's the kind that comes on a conical cardboard spool. There's another culinary-only cord that's much thinner and comes in a plastic dispenser, but I would not use that over a rotisserie - it's waxed, and I'd worry about its burning. The heavy cotton will scorch, but should still hold up. And do NOT use polyester, or any other synthetic!

      1. Can I suggest something? I used to do this little trick with bird legs/wings and swear on it. Cut a sliver of hole in the skin opposite each drumstick (in that flabby skin area). Shove one drumstick through, cross its' other leg then do the same. Pull the wings back "akimbo" (like it's at a beach resort with its hands behind its back), and you've got a non-trussed, trussed bird.