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Copycat Kenny Rogers Roasters Chicken

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American


Copycat Kenny Rogers Roasters Chicken is a recreation of Kenny Rogers Chicken dish made by marinating chicken in tamari, brown sugar, tomato paste, oregano, lemon, garlic, onions and mustard before rubbing it with a dry dry rub of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and peppers.


Units Scale


  • 1 whole large chicken
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken fat or duck fat, see notes below for homemade version


  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp tamari or any good quality soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 large white onion, quartered

Dry Rub

  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Place the chicken in a large container, pour sea salt all over the surface while massaging the chicken. Set it aside for 20 minutes, then rinse the salt off and pat the chicken fully dry.
  2. In a food processor or nutribullet combine all Marinade ingredients together then process to make a paste. Set this aside.
  3. Place chicken together with the marinade in a heavy duty large Ziplock bag. Rub it all over the body as well as inside the cavity. Seal, removing the air then refrigerate overnight.
    1 hour prior to cooking remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
  4. Combine all dry rub ingredients together then set it aside
  5. Remove chicken from the marinade, reserve the liquid and place it in a small bowl together with the chicken or duck fat, this will be your basting liquid. Rub the dry rub all over the chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan.
  6. Roast chicken in a 135C preheated oven for 4 hours or until cooked. Baste the chicken with the basting liquid every hour for the first three hours and every 15 minutes on the last hour.
  7. Remove from oven then let it rest for 15 minutes prior to cutting and serving.
  8. Serve with your favourite sides, like mac and cheese, corn muffins, coleslaw and corn and carrots.


  • Since we are not using a commerical wood-fire rotisserie oven, we are recreating the flavour with the use of liquid smoke.  Chicken fat is also used to baste as in a batch rotisserie, chicken is constantly basted with chicken fat dripping from the chicken above, giving better flavours.
  • To make chicken fat, boil 1 kg of chicken skin in 2 cups of water until water evaporates, continue to cook until it renders fat. Once it starts to render fat lower the heat then continue to cook for until fat clarifies and skin becomes crispy. The crispy skin can be served as a Chicken skin chicharon but eat in moderation.