Before tonight, I questioned the sanity of the person who came up with the idea of shoving a can of beer into the rear-end of a dead chicken and calling it dinner. But, my mind has been changed.
6 months of marriage was achieved on Saturday! So Dave and I decied to try this new restaurant in the neighborhood that opened up called M3. M3’s predecessor, Al Fresco, seemed like it was in business forever, one of those small italian eateries that never had a packed house or a line out the door, but their longevity in the area implied they were doing something right. Well – I guess they weren’t, because one day as I was jogging by, expecting a waft of roasted garlic and simmering meatballs as I passed by, Al Fresco was gone. And the next time I ran by, M3 was there, and it was PACKED! I tried to figure out what type of place this was, as the name isn’t very telling. I saw a lot of intriguing things 1) Chalkboard tables – perfect for 5 (and 30) year old patrons 2) Beer in cans 3) The dessert menu – FRIED fluffenutter! What????? Apon further investigation, I discovered that it was a Southern Joint, toteing all of pre-diabetic Paula Deens faves – Fried Chicken, Fried Green Tomatoes, Fried Cheese curds (are you picking up on a theme?) and my dinner for the evening, Beer Can Hen. And after blushing when the waitress placed the violated cooked hen on the table, I was able to dig in (only after the hostess came over and helped me remove the can from it’s rear – she must have seen that this was unchartered territory for me). My only disappointment was Harriet the Hen didn’t have quite as much meat on her bones as I would have liked. But, it was a great excuse to try it the next night for dinner! And strangely enough, my mom bought Dave a special “Beer Can Chicken” grill pan for his birthday, so it seemed as though it was written in the stars.
Spice Rubbed Beer Can Chicken
*A K&D Original recipe
1 – 3-4 lb. Chicken Roaster
1 – 12oz. can of beer (your choice – we used a summer lager)
SPICE RUB INGREDIENTS
1 tbsp. chilli powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. seasoned salt
1 tbsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
few shakes of salt and pepper
1) Remove giblets from the inside of the chicken. Rinse and pat the chicken dry.
2) Prepare your grill for indirect heat – we basically lit two piles of charcoal on either side of the grill, leaving a space in the center of the grate for the chicken that wouldn’t be directly over the heat (this is a really good video tutorial). But, if you’re using a gas grill, turn on all burners until grill reaches 350 degrees, then turn off the burners on one side. If cooking in an oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a shallow roasting pan with tin foil to catch any drips.
3) Get rid of half of the can of beer (how you choose to do this is completely up to you – I suggest drinking it :)). If using a special BCC pan, place can in the compartment reserved for it. If not, place can upright into the chicken, making sure it’s fitted within the cavity of the chicken.
4) Coat the outside of the chicken with olive oil and then coat it in the spice rub.
5) After your briquettes have become ‘ashy’ looking, you can place your chicken onto the grate. Roast for 1.5 – 2 hours, rotating about halfway through cooking time, until an instant read thermometer reads 180 degrees.
6) Take chicken off of the grill and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
I’m gonna go ahead and say that this may have been the best tasting chicken I’ve ever had in my life – swear. The moistness was unreal, and the slow roasting really let the flavors of the beer and the spices seep into the meat. And the great thing about the pan was that you could just toss your potatoes and veggies right onto the grill with the chicken. Even if you didn’t have Beer Can Chicken specific pan, you could probably do the same with another vegetable roasting basket for the grill (place the chicken with the beer can in the center of the roasting basket and place the sides around it).
So if you’re looking for the most tender and flavorful chicken you’ve ever had in your life, and you don’t mind sticking an aluminum can in the butt of a chicken, well then you’ve got yourself a doozie of a recipe here!