Saturday, May 2, 2009

Beer can chicken

I was asked that my next blog be about beer can chicken, because some people don't know what that is. It has also been referred to as beer butt chicken (although that does not sound too appetizing to me), or drunken chicken.

You need 2 cups wood chips, a whole chicken, a can of beer, and herbs, spices. You want to soak your wood chips in beer or water for about an hour before you cook.

Preheat your grill. You want to set it up for indirect grilling, as the chicken will not be placed directly over the flame. I think you can also do this in the oven, but you would have to look this up yourself. For recipes I use recipezaar.com. You also want to place the wood chips in your grill at some point, depending on how smokey you want your chicken. We put ours in about thirty minutes before the chicken is done.

What you do, is you take a whole chicken and a can of beer. Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 of the beer into a glass and drink it (you don't really have to drink it, but why waste it, right?)

Take the entire top off the can with a can opener. Stuff remainder of the beer with whatever herbs, spices, whatnot you want. I usually put chunks of garlic, onion, and sprigs of rosemary. Last night I also shoved some basil in there. Set aside.

Remove all the innards from the chicken, neck, heart, etc. Put whatever kind of rub you want on it. I usually mix olive oil, lemon, rosemary, garlic, and my special spices. Sometimes I add a little balsamic vinegar to the rub. Rub underneath and on top of the skin. You can shove some in the neck as well.

Now, you are going to slide the beer can inside the chicken's butt, for lack of better words (and why in some places like Missouri it's called beer butt chicken). Pull the legs forward, creating a tripod. The chicken should sit upright over the can. They also sell holders especially made for beer can chicken, which you will see in the above picture. You can find them in the grill section of your local Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart, etc. They make life just a little easier.

Carefully transfer chickens to grill in this same position, placing them in center over drip pan away from heat. If using charcoal, toss half the wood chips on each mound of coals.
If using gas, place chips in smoker box. Barbecue chickens until nicely browned and cooked through, About 1 1/2 hours, keeping temperature about 350 degrees F.

(If using charcoal, replenish coals as needed.) The internal temperature of the birds (taken in thickest part of thigh) should be 165°F.
Carefully transfer birds to platter in same position.

To carve lift bird off of can, and discard can.

Sooooo yummy. If you have any questions, let me know.
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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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