BEER CAN CHICKEN


I realize this idea is nothing new. However, with quality beers being canned these days, I thought I could definitely improve the flavor. With more and more brewers becoming concerned with greener alternatives, cans make perfect sense. Not only are they easier to recycle, but they are also impervious to light; one of beers biggest enemies. Since the Oskar Blues Brewery out of Colorado was among the first to try to change the way we think about canned beer, I thought I would give them the nod for my chicken’s cavity. Their Old Chub is a traditional Scottish Ale with a smokey, peated malt flavor, and a little brown sugar sweetness. I’m not a big Scottish Ale drinker myself, but the Old Chub is everything a great Scotch Ale should be. This recipe is really easy and produced some of the juiciest chicken I have ever had, while maintaining a perfect crispy skin.
Serves about 4 people
Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (I think the free range organic ones taste better, but you can use whatever you want.)
2 tbsp. pepper
2 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup of your favorite dry rub (see **note** at the bottom)
1 can Old Chub
2 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Remove neck and giblets from cavity and trim off any fat from the cavity’s opening.
2. Liberally apply salt, pepper, followed by dry rub on the inside cavity and the outside of the bird.
3. Pour a little more than half a can of the Old Chub into a glass, drop garlic cloves into can, and insert half full can into chicken cavity.
4. Stand chicken upright so the can and two drumsticks act like a tripod.
5. Place chicken on hot grill over indirect heat. If you are using charcoal scrape all the coals to one side of the grill, and put the chicken on the opposite side. If you are using gas light one half of the grill and put the chicken on the other. My gas grill has three burners, so I lit the two outside burners and put the chicken in the middle over the unlit burner.
6. Close the lid and let cook for about an hour. Grill temperature should be around 400 degrees with the lid closed. Once the thigh meat reaches 165 degrees your bird is done!
7. Turn bird on its side gently and remove can with tongs. This part is a little tricky and if anyone has any good tips, please leave a comment!
7. Let rest for at least ten minutes to let juices settle before carving.
8. For carving tips see http://www.cooks.com

***Note about spice rubs*** BBQ geeks are very secretive about their dry rubs, but they are basically some combination of cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, granulated garlic, smokey paprika, some green herb like thyme or oregano, sometimes brown sugar. I don’t like the brown sugar element because it can make your exterior too crispy/burnt. Play around in the bulk spice section of your local grocery, and find your own secret spice blend.

Tim Nichols

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