Monday, August 27, 2012

Beer Can Chicken

This weekend I made my first ever Beer Can Chicken.  A quick rub, a can of beer, and a little over an hour later and you'll have one delicious, moist chicken on your hands.  Hubby and I both adored this chicken and I'll definitely be making it again soon, though I'm curious to try a few tweaks next time to impart even more flavor into the bird.

When I make this chicken again, I'm planning to set it inside a cast iron skillet to help avoid flare-ups on the grill (you can also avoid them but keeping the burner directly under the chicken turned off, which is what I eventually did after a couple flare-ups).  The cast iron skillet will also allow me a nice spot to cook some potatoes around the chicken at the same time.  If I have them on hand, I may also add onion, garlic and perhaps some fresh herbs to the chicken cavity along with the beer can for extra flavor.

That said, this chicken is absolutely delicious as is.  The rub takes no time to throw together and you can keep extra on hand to make the prep process even faster.  I'm so glad I finally gave Beer Can Chicken a try as I now have a sure bet, crowd-pleasing chicken recipe I can make on the grill for summer cookouts.

Beer Can Chicken
slightly adapted from Food Network

Beer Can Chicken Rub:
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon applewood smoked sea salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together.  You can store extra rub in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

For the Chicken:
4 lb. chicken, washed and dried
vegetable oil
Beer Can Chicken Rub
1 (12 oz.) can beer (I used Bud Light)

Preheat your grill to medium-high.

Rub the prepared chicken and its cavity down with the vegetable oil.  Season the chicken with the rub mixture, remembering to season the cavity as well.  Pour out 1/4 of the beer (or drink it, if you enjoy beer) and sit the chicken on top of the beer can.  Using the legs and beer can as sort of a tripod, carefully place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover.  Cook the chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees F.  Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

*The rub recipe will make enough for at least two chickens.  Feel free to decrease the amount if only making one bird, or keep it on hand for another time.

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