Beer Can Chicken
A chicken roasted atop a beer can. Sounds a little strange, but it makes for a tasty bird. Beer Can, aka Beer Butt Chicken, is almost an urban food legend but know what? It works. Two main ingredients (beer and chicken) make it pure guy fare. It has been especially touted by barbecue cookbook author Steven Raichlen. The beer tenderizes the chicken and doubles as a vertical spit. The result is a charred but tender, out-of-this-world, effortless grilled bird. Any beer works in this recipe and a side of steak fries and a Caesar salad is all you need. If it is a rainy Mother or Father’s Day, this works just as well in your oven. If you can find a ‘tall boy’ can of beer, all the better.
3 – 3 1/2 pound grain-fed chicken
1/4 cup dry spice rub *
1 12-ounce can beer or a tall boy beer,
1/4 cup prepared barbecue sauce
* You may use any dry spice mix you like. Mrs. Dash or McCormick’s or Club House seasonings work well. Otherwise, sprinkle the outside of the chicken liberally with paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, black pepper and about 2 teaspoons of sugar and use the same mix (about 1/2 teaspoon each) for the inside the beer can.
Pour off about 1/4 cup of the beer. In the can, add 3 tablespoons of the dry rub spice mixture. Rub the remaining 1 tablespoon inside chicken cavity and one tablespoon on outside. Place the remaining dry rub inside the beer can (I used a cone of parchment paper and funnelled it in). Smear barbecue sauce on chicken, if desired (best for oven method).
If you are not grilling right away, refrigerate the chicken until required.
Prepare your grill to hot and bank coals or a mixture of coals and briquettes to the side to grill in the indirect method. For oven preparation, preheat your oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil paper.
Place chicken atop or astride beer can. Place on grill or on baking sheet (for oven). Grill for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is thoroughly browned, slightly charred and tests done with a meat thermometer.
Let chicken stand 5-10 minutes before removing and serving.
(Discard beer and take care not to spill any on yourself – it is hot). Serves 3 – 4