Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Basic Beer-Can Chicken with All-Purpose Barbecue Rub and mental grill-roasted beets

Ok, twice now I've looked here on Recipeeps for this recipe, thinking I'd already posted it, and twice I've been disappointed.  So, here it is finally!  This is another recipe by Steven Raichlen, but this one's found in his Beer-Can Chicken [and 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill] cookbook. Occasionally I've paraphrased or added to the instructions. I often grab some beets from the garden, wash 'em, lop off their tips and tails, wrap 'em in foil, and let them roast on the side of the grill with the chicken since the grill's on so long anyway.  Pull them off shortly before the chicken, let cool briefly, and slip/easily peel the skins off while staining but not burning your fingers.

***  NOTE: If using a gas grill, make sure you've got plenty of propane before starting, hey? ***

Serves 2-4.

1 can (12 oz.) beer (You can sub fruit juice or soda, but you need to use a can anyway)
1 chicken (3 1/2-4 lbs)
2 Tbl. All-Purpose Barbecue Rub* or your own favorite rub
2 tsp. vegetable oil

He also calls for wood chips soaked in water or beer, but I never bother.  So if you want those directions added in, let me know & I'll add them.

1. Pop the tab of  the beer can and pour off half [or consume! DFFs forever!]. If cooking the chicken on the can [rather than a fancy holder with a built-in liquid holder], make two additional holes in its top. Set aside. [Edited to add - if I remember, I spray the can &/or holder with cooking spray to try to make it just a little bit easier to get them apart at the end!]

2.  Remove [and discard or keep for another use] any giblets; remove and discard extra fat just inside the body and neck cavities.  Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, then drain and blog dry with paper towels.  [Note: you'll now be using portions of the rub. BE CAREFUL to not contaminate your big container with chicken germs 'cuz the recipe below makes a lot more than you need.] Sprinkle 1 tsp. rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 tsp. inside the neck cavity.  Drizzle oil over the outside of the bird and rub it all over the skin.  Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 Tbl. rub and rub it all over the skin.  Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 tsp. of rub into the beer can.  Don't worry if it foams up.

3.  If cooking on a can: Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it [you might need to coax it a bit] 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.  If cooking on a roaster, fill it with the beer mixture and position the chicken on top, following manufacturer's instructions.

4.  Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back. [I often end up securing them with a little cooking twine.]

5.  Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.  [Wood chip stuff here, if interested.]

6.  When ready to cook, stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat.  Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is dark golden brown and very crisp [totally the best part! Converted my daughter back away from vegetarianism!] and the meat is cooked through, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.  If using a charcoal grill, 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.

7.  If cooking on a can, using tongs,hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter.  If cooking on a roaster, use oven mitts or pot holder to remove the gird from the grill while it's still on the vertical roaster.

8. Present the bird to your guests. [Ooooh!  Aaaaah! Can we eat it yet?] Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. [Not always as easy as it sounds, but be careful & persistent.] Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself.  Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve!

*All-Purpose Barbecue Rub
1/4 c. coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. sweet paprika
2 Tbl. freshly ground black pepper
Mix together. Store in airtight jar away from heat and light.