Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

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Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, United States

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Beer can chicken

An insanely easy recipe


One of the challenges in cooking a chicken in an outdoor grill (whether charcoal or gas) is getting the outside of the chicken nicely browned and crispy while keeping the meat tender and juicy. If you wrap the chicken in foil or a bag, the skin stays pale and soggy, but if you leave the chicken uncovered, the meat often dries out.

Beer can chicken solves the problem. First, you season the chicken, inside and out, with whatever herbs and spices you're in the mood for -- pick seasonings that complement the side dishes you plan to serve. Then, open a can of beer (you can drink some of it if you wish, but leave at least half in the can), and slide the body cavity of the chicken over the can. Place the assembly in a barbecue grill over medium-low heat, close the lid, and cook 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the juices running down the outside of the beer can are clear. If you wish, during the last 15 to 30 minutes, brush the chicken with your favorite sauce -- barbecue, teriyaki, or whatever.

As the chicken cooks, the skin crisps up nicely, and the beer evaporates to permeate the meat, keeping it moist and tender, as well as imparting some flavor.

Gerald and I cooked this up at the marina at Heron this evening. Lots of people asked us where we got this recipe. Thing is, I couldn't say. I think I've known about it pretty much all of my life, possibly courtesy of my Arkansas relatives.

Nowadays, you can even get a metal frame that holds the beer can and keeps the chicken from tipping over (as pictured above, courtesy of Life on the Water Magazine). You can find one in many mail-order catalogs.

Yeah, once in a while, rednecks come up with a good idea.

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11 Comments:

Blogger Baydog said...

I think Alton Brown was one of the first to promote this. It always looks great, but I never tried it.

When should we be over, and can I bring the wine? Dessert?

Sat May 29, 11:23:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

If Alton Brown did this in the 1930s, then he was one of the first. This technique has been around forever, or at least since beer was first put into cans.

Yeah, come on over anytime. Look for when we have the beer flag flying at Five O'Clock Somewhere. Bring dessert. I like light, fruity things in hot weather, like sorbet.

Sat May 29, 11:59:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Baydog said...

Maybe "did" and "promote" are two different things, but the fact is that it sounds really good.

Sorbet is nice, but Ciao Bella makes this stuff called "Key Lime Graham". If you like Key Lime Pie, like I imagine you do, you MUST try this stuff. And we will bring it over, with lots of red wine to have with your crispy-juicy beer-can chicken. I'm starving.

Sun May 30, 12:21:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Ooooh, Baydog, "Key Lime Graham" sounds perfect!

Meanwhile, here's a thought ... you want to come to New Mexico to enjoy my beer can chicken, and you want to to go Bonnie's place to share in her fresh basil. Let's plan a nationwide progressive dinner, in which all in the Tillersphere visit all others, and we have a series of parties everywhere ... Rhode Island, Brooklyn, Michigan, New Mexico, lots of places in the SF Bay Area, and wherever else people are. Maybe we can get to London, and possibly even Japan.

Oooh, I feel a writing project coming on ...

Sun May 30, 01:00:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Baydog said...

I'm tellin ya

Sun May 30, 01:28:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Baydog said...

Can you tell how late it is here? It was a long and busy day. When I get home, it takes a long time to wind down. Maybe I shouldn't grab the laptop, because when I do, I often wind myself up again. But it's okay. This kind of stuff is therapy for the wide array of human relations that I go through on any given day. Food Tour!

Sun May 30, 01:35:00 AM MDT  
Blogger bonnie said...

Beer can chicken in NM, Atlantic scallops, Jersey corn & Brooklyn Basil in NJ...this sounds FABULOUS!

ps suddenly torn between my original plan to take my sister (arriving in 3.5 hours so I need to make this my last comment anywhere!) kayaking tomorrow & taking her to Red Hook for Steve's Key Lime Pie. umyumyumyum.

Sun May 30, 09:53:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Programming note: We have reached a milestone, with the 75,000th visitor to FOCS. Said visitor came from London and has me bookmarked. I don't know for sure, however, whether this is Captain JP, as this visitor was running WinNP/Vista with IE 7.0 -- not an iPad.

Sun May 30, 10:49:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous AnaVar said...

Awesome! I check your blog once in a while and always find interesting reading! Have to try this next time!

Thu Jun 10, 03:50:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous bowsprite said...

this looks so great! does enough beer get through the small opening? I feel like i'd want to use a can opener to really be SURE. Don't want to waste beer...

Wed Jun 30, 10:36:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous AnaDrol said...

So it's redneck chicken country style. What beer do you recommend?

Mon Jan 31, 04:50:00 AM MST  

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