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.
Labels: beer, boats, family, five o'clock somewhere, food, friends, sailing, tadpole