Beer Can Chicken
First off, you need one of these
and a drip pan if doing it in the oven.
- One medium sized chicken
- A can of beer, your choice of brand, not a tall boy
- Your choice of rub (I'll post my recipe soon) or
- Your choice of injectable marinade
- Small onion or potato
- Various spices and seasonings that suit your tastes. I like a clove or two of garlic, some Mrs. Dash, a tad of chopped ginger, Liquid Smoke, and whatever else looks good at the time.
There are two ways to do this, either on the grill, or in the oven. I'm going to go on a limb and assume you all know how to bake a chicken in the oven, and the times and temp isn't any different on this. The grill is more difficult. Heat is important, as is time. There's a real art to it, and I'm just getting good at baking stuff over a grill.
Anyway, the prep. Clean and trim your chicken. Most chickens I've gotten recently they have neglected to cut the neck off. Use kitchen shears to trim that bad boy off. Once your chickie is looking good, set him aside.
Take your can of beer. Open it. Drink half of it. Don't drink more if it. Seriously. Might as well get an extra one for you too. Right now, check out the link to that rack I posted. I got mine at Gander Mountain, but Wally World sells them too. Our family has four of them, two singles, and a double. The beer can goes in the rack, and the chicken goes down over the beer.
Before you put the chicken over the beer though, add your spices and such to the beer. Your garlic, liquid smoke, cajun spices, whatever flavor you like. This is what makes it fun. Experiment. You can't mess it up.
Now slide the chicken over the beer can. He may not like a can of beer going up his ass, but it's got to go all the way in. Don't force it, just ease it in. God that sounded wrong. Now plug that bad boy's neck up with your onion or potato. You may have to cut down the potato, and peel off layers of onion. I prefer onion for the flavor. This traps in the moisture from the beer.
Add your rub, or inject your marinade. No real reason to use an injector with this method of cooking, but if you're a fanatic, go for it I guess.
Make sure the chicken is in a drip pan, and arranged all prettily. Legs and wings in good positions, etc. Isn't he cute? Slap that bad boy in the oven.
Now, when you pull him out, you're going to have a treat. The skin will be nice and crisp, but the chicken will be moist as can be. Remove the chicken from the rack carefully, without pouring hot beer on yourself. I find it helps if you Pam the rack before the chicken goes on.
Carve him up.
Anything in a can could be used for this. I've used Classic Coke before, which I really liked. Sprite makes a more tropical meal, which goes really well with grilled smoke sausage and pineapple.
I'm in the process of making up some smaller racks for rock cornish game hens as well, to use with the small cans of fruit juice/nectar.
I do apologize for the long post, but this one is different. Try it, and I promise you'll love it. It's the best chicken you have ever had, and even if you don't like chicken, you'll like this. Big family? Do several. A canjun flavored, a BBQ flavored, etc. Most I've done at a time was six.
If you really enjoy grilling, these four books are great. I've used and abused them, and always find more stuff to try in them. I know Gander Mountain has them.
The Barbecue! Bible
BBQ USA: 425 Fiery Recipes from All Across America
Beer-Can Chicken: And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill
Barbecue! Bible: Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes