Saturday, October 10, 2015

You're Going to Put that WHERE? Beer Can Chicken

On this blog I'll only write about products I buy and use, not anything I'm paid to advertise. This is one of them, an inexpensive devise that came in real handy for making a favorite in my household, beer can chicken.

The premise is that you take a half full can of beer and shove it up a whole roaster chicken's backside, setting the bird up carefully upright and grilling or roasting, as it balances on the beer can. The beer in the can then steams in the inside of the chicken while the outside gets all brown and crispy.

It's delicious, no matter what seasonings you use, but unfortunately my drunken chicken, when first attempting this dish without help, tipped over during the cooking process and made a mess.

It's not as bad as when my Mom set the turkey on fire. Readers of other blogs I've had have heard this, but I will laugh when I think about it as long as I live.

Mom had heard that cooking a turkey in a bag made for a nice moist bird. As plastic cooking bags were not common (or even made yet in the late sixties), she used a paper grocery bag. Unfortunately she missed the part about putting the bird in a pan first to catch the juices and cooking it on low for a long time. As Mr. Turkey baked at a temperature somewhere around the heat of the sun, the juices and grease pooled in the bottom of the bag, soaking it. When the little red turkey timer popped out, it punched a hole in the bag, all the grease hit the oven burner and the bag ignited.

We heard a "whoosh" and my big brother, who was probably 10 at the time, very calmly said "Mom, the turkey's on fire" It's the only time in my life I heard my Mom utter a four letter word.

Dad told her to keep the oven door closed and let it burn out as he sat there muttering "oh the humanity" before going out for KFC.

That's why this little inexpensive gadget works so well. It provides a stable platform for the ale impaled bird, by providing a place for the can of beer and a base that won't easily tip over.

It's beyond easy. Use half a can of beer. I actually used some Bad Elmer Porter, which I poured from its glass bottle into a clean Bud Light can that was waiting for recycling. Bad Elmer won't win any beauty contests but it's some fine dark beer. I then added some ground pepper, a shake or two of table salt and a heaping teaspoon of chopped roasted garlic to the birds interior. Although there is flavored salt on the chicken skin, the little bit of salt in the cavity will help season the meat. The can is inserted and then placed in the holder which holds the chicken perfectly in place.

The outside of the bird is rubbed down with olive oil. I used one from Artisano's that is made from olives that taste like butter. It adds the taste of butter to the bird but with a fat that's much more heart healthy.
After washing my hands well, I rubbed the bird down with Artisano's alderwood smoked salt (that's right, sea salt slow smoked over real alterwood, giving it a clean smoked flavor without any liquid smoke or anything artificial). I had to stop and sniff the bag of the salt, it's like breathing in a campfire without coughing. A few grinds of fresh Tellicherry pepper on top of that and it was almost ready. If you don't have access to these spices, try placing extra garlic in the cavity along with salt and peper and then rubbing the chicken down with EVOO and some fresh rosemary.

A small potato then is put into the neck cavity to keep the steam in.

I then added a cup of water and a cup of chicken stock to the pan. That keeps the juices from baking on to the pan where you need a blowtorch to clean it, as well as provides just a little bit of moisture to the outside of the bird but not so much it doesn't brown nicely.
Two hours later, roasting in the oven at 350 degrees F, it's done. The potato was trying to pop out, which try as I wanted not to, made me think of the Spaceballs Movie diner scene and as I prepared the plate, had me quietly humming hello my baby. . .

The chicken was perfect, so moist and tender it literally fell off the bone, with a crisp but not greasy skin.

Served with a home made buttermilk biscuit and a scant teaspoon of real butter (no that is not the Godzilla biscuit, as I use a salad plate to make my meal appear bigger than it is)  with some romaine, dried cranberries, walnuts and wild blueberry balsamic vinegar (fat free) There was enough leftover to make a nice casserole for another meal as well on Sunday.

click photos to enlarge


  1. Hari OM
    Crikey... that almost (I said nearly, foghorn leghorn)... had this vego drooling. The salad completed that task!
    Eyes-on... YAM xx

  2. Gotta admit that the end result looked really good even though I don't eat chicken!



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