Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beer Can Chicken

Steven Raichlen is a guy I have been enjoying on television for years. Even if I generally don't cook his recipes verbatim, I always learn something new and get great ideas. He is the beer can chicken guy. I mean that's like being the "Melba" in "Melba toast" or the inventor of food or something.

One of the issues with this recipe is that the bird becomes unruly; wobbling around, dancing, flinging itself on the floor, or simply tapping it's knee? knuckle?, hands on hips, looking impatient, annoyed and headless.

Steven himself has come up with a solution for this here; a stainless steel beer can chicken apparatus that solves the stability problems and includes a reusable canister that can be filled with all matter of liquids (wine, broth, wine and broth, juice, wine and juice, the permutations are simply incalculable) if in some ridiculous fit of pique you tire of beer. I think what I'm trying to say is click the link and buy the thing... for me, actually, as I don't have one... yet.

So on my recent rereading and recooking of this old saw I had to deal with a truly unruly chicken made unrulier by my oversized can of Tecate brand beerlike product. I could barely impale my bird upon it and once impaled, it kept bumping it's (missing) head on the roof of it's Weber kettle resting place, necessitating paver bricks to keep the lid and chicken in place.

Beer Can Chicken

1 can beer, partially drunk
1 chicken
2 tablespoons rub (my recipe follows)
2 teaspoons oil

Start a fire set up for indirect heat including drip-pan. Rinse and dry your chicken with paper towels and rub or brush with oil. sprinkle rub on outside and inside of chicken and into the beer can. Rub rub into skin of chicken.

Impale chicken on the upright beer can. The can and the legs create a tripod to (ostensibly) keep the chicken upright.

Place over drip-pan (and indirect heat), start checking for doneness after 1 hour and fifteen minutes. If you are using coals, you'll need to add twelve fresh coals per side after 1 hour.

Then, according to Steven, "Present the bird to your guests. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself. Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve."

I quickly improvised this rub;

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoons Kosher salt

Mix together in small bowl.


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