Thursday, June 26, 2008

Beer Can Chicken


We just demolished almost an entire whole chicken (Back Forty Acres, of course) which I prepared in the time-honored way of chicken a la redneck, in other words, a chicken with an aluminum beer can shoved up its...! In this case the vintage brew of choice was Budweiser, the grill was Weber, and the dry rub was fragrant.

That bird came off the grill smelling of heaven. I couldn't even wait the dictated 10 minutes before performing the can extraction procedure. The chicken was sliced, diced, and parsed between the three of us (accompanied by roasted red potatoes with olive oil and fresh rosemary and a salad of mixed greens from Tantré Farm) and we set to devouring, and devour we did. The skin was perfectly crisped, the meat juicy, tender, and full of flavor. Ever the model of decorum, I pried the meat from the bone with knife and fork until my baser instincts took over and I cast them aside to take hold of the leg with my bare hands and tear the shreds with my teeth in a savage display of carnivorousness (is that even a word?). I didn't care; no one was watching and this was some of the best damn chicken I've ever eaten. Once dinner was finished we clustered around what was left of the chicken to pick it clean, digging around the skeleton to extract every last shred of flesh. I still have paprika under my fingernails.

Beer Can Chicken (from Weber's Big Book of Grilling):
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds ( the one I used tonight was 3.6 lbs)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 16-ounce can of beer (we used a standard 12-oz can because our chicken was smaller)
In a small bowl combine the dry rub ingredients. Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat (if present) from the chicken. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Rub all over with a small amount of vegetable oil and season inside and out with the dry rub.

Open the beer can and pour off (or drink!) half the beer. Set the half-full can on a flat surface and slide the chicken over the top so the can fits inside the body cavity. Transfer the bird to the grill, keeping the can upright, and carefully balance it on its two legs and the can. Grill over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 170 deg F in the breast and 180 deg F in the thigh, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours (depending on bird size). Carefully remove the chicken and can from the grill (don't spill the beer). Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before lifting it from the can. Discard the hot beer. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve.

1 comment:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Sarah, I've been so wanting to try this but I'm a big old sissy. I think I'm going to have to give it a try, though. Too many people rave over it!