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20 July 2005

Take this beer can and...

My better half claims not to like chicken.  Yet, for someone who doesn’t like the original white meat, she really wanted to try one of those infamous beer can chicken recipes.  There are dozens of versions of this recipe.  I loosely followed one from Cook’s Country magazine.

BeercanchickThe recipe in a nutshell:  Add various herbs to a third-full (or third-empty - depending on your personality type) can of beer.  Then shove/slide/place/insert said can into the business end of a whole chicken*

*Make sure this is legal in your state/province/territory

The recipe in detail:

(For two 3-3.5lbs chickens)

Spice Rub
2 T packed light brown sugar
2 T smoked paprika
1 T kosher salt
1 T coarse black pepper
1 t cayenne pepper

2 T packed light brown sugar
2 T ketchup/catsup
2 T white wine vinegar (I used champagne vinegar)
2 T beer (I used red wine instead)
1 t hot sauce

2 (12 oz) cans beer
4 bay leaves, crumbled
2 T herbes de Provence
4 cups applewood chips (or whatever wood chips you like)

For the rub:  mix ingredients thoroughly in bowl
For the glaze:  stir ingredients together in medium bowl and add 1 T spice rub
For the beer cans:  remove 1 cup beer from each can.  Use ‘church key’ can opener to open the entire top of each beer can.  Add 2 bay leaves and 1 T herbes de Provence to each can
For the chickens:  slightly separate skin from meat on back, breast and thighs using your fingers.  Massage spice rub under skin, on skin, and inside chicken. Use a skewer to poke several holes in each chicken (to render fat whilst cooking)
Prep wood chips and grill: soak wood chips in bowl of water for 15 minutes. Light grill (I use a gas grill) and heat to about 450F.  Place wood chips in small grill box or foil on back or corner of grill.

Now the uncomfortable part:  spray the beer cans with a little Pam and slide the can into the rear-end of the chicken - position can so chickens can ‘stand up’

Roast em:  Place disposable aluminum pan on grill.  Carefully place chickens on top of pan and close the grill lid.

Grill/roast the chickens for 40-60 minutes until skin is dark, crispy brown.  Brush chickens with glaze, cover again and cook for another 20 minutes or so (until a meat thermometer registers 170F in thigh meat).

Carefully remove chickens from grill, place on cutting board, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Remove the cans from the chicken (this can be tricky so be careful - Hot liquid!  Hot cans!  Hot chickens!).

Carve and serve (Also, it’s normal to feel a little strange about the whole can thing).

The chicken pairs fantastically with a slightly chilled Côtes du Rhône or a youngish Spanish Tempranillo or Garnacha.


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