Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

I had a good time with this one. As a matter of fact, I still chuckle every time I picture it coming out of the oven. But more on that in a minute.

Sunday. It’s one of the only days of the week when things slow down enough to have a nice, leisurely dinner. And when I think Sunday dinner, I think roast chicken. Now I have to admit, my classic roast chicken is pretty fine but it has gotten a bit predictable. Then the idea of finally trying the beer can method hit me. It seems to be a popular barbecue novelty but many an internet review promised good results from the oven, too.

So I tucked loads of whole garlic cloves underneath the skin (a habit from my classic preparation) and rubbed the chicken with a simple dry rub. Then the magic part. I popped a can of lager, took a few healthy swigs (*only because it needs to be half full) and, well, positioned the chicken over the can so that it was snugly between the legs and inside the cavity. (Ouch)

Less than 2 hours later, it was a sight to behold: a crispy-skinned, delicious-smelling bird… still sitting in a compromised position. All I could think was that he must’ve been awfully naughty for karma to come back like this.

The rub makes the skin even more delicious than usual and the meat… so tender and juicy from the beer. If you haven’t tried it, do so. Asap.

Beer Can Chicken 
A wonderful change from your classic Sunday favorite.

1 whole roasting chicken, about 4 pounds
10 whole garlic cloves, skins removed
Vegetable oil

Dry Rub:
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 12-oz can beer

Preheat oven to 375°F. Remove any innards from the chicken cavity and dry the outside using paper towels. Tuck whole garlic cloves all over under skin (and a few in the cavity for luck). Drizzle a little oil over the chicken and rub all over.

In a small bowl, mix dry rub ingredients. Rub mixture all over chicken, being sure to coat all surfaces evenly, leaving about 1 teaspoon of mixture in bowl.
Open beer can and pour out or drink a few glugs so that it's just over half full. Using a bottle opener, punch a few extra holes in the top of the can. Pour remaining spice mixture into beer -- be careful, it will probably foam up at this point.

Place beer can in a roasting pan and place chicken over it so that it fits snugly into the cavity and sits upright. Transfer to oven and bake until the outside is crispy, the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 180°, up to 1 ½ hours.

Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes, mainly so that everyone can have a good laugh. Recruit an extra set of hands to carefully lift the chicken off the can. Carve up and serve!


Talley said...

we tried this once! I think the chicken we used (from one of the asian market's downtown) was undeserving of the beer can in the butt. it was nah-so-good. I'm glad to hear it worked for you... it makes me want to give it another go with a better clucker. funny post!

Anonymous said...

Swiz neat. I JUST saw whole fryers on sale at teh Red Apple down the street on Jackson and 23rd (not my fave store, but close by). I'm doin' it this weekend! YAY!!!!!