Beer Can ChickenNothing is as gloriously redneck as Beer Can Chicken. There is something so horribly wrong about seeing the bird perched on your grill with a beer can up its butt but the result tastes so wonderfully right. Steven Raichlen has a damn good recipe for it on his website and this version follows that due to its explanation of the technique. I use my own barbecue rub to prepare it and I prefer using a dark beer due to the taste. True fact: the folks at Shiner Bock, continue to sell their beer in cans solely due to the demand prompted by this recipe.
Start the process about an hour ahead of time. Start by brining the bird. Take 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 quart cold water and deposit the bird in it. Refrigerate. Put the wood chips in about a cup of water and pour half the beer in as well.
After an hour start your fire and let it become fully coals - about 20 minutes to half an hour.
Remove the chicken from the brine and rise it inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 teaspoon inside the neck cavity of the chicken.
Drizzle the oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of rub and rub it all over the skin. Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of rub into the beer through a hole in the top of the can.
Now you have to assemble this sucker so it stands on the grill. Take the beer can and put two additional holes in the top (or simply remove it altogether). Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity. Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can. Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken’s back.
Drain the wood chips and toss them all on the coals. Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over a drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through about an hour and a half. You’ll need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.
When it is done, using tongs, hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. Cut it up and serve.
more: chicken & poultry
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