AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: Beer Can Chicken DATE: 8/29/2008 01:13:00 PM ----- BODY:
Last week Dina called to say she was having a few people over for dinner and had bought 2 whole chickens to roast. I’m not sure how I got to be so bold, but I suggested she make Beer Can Chicken. Great, she said, as long as you’re the one to do it. Not sure how my day would progress, I tentatively agreed.

I don’t typically buy beer at Whole Foods (much less any beer), but I was there for other things so I thought I’d just buy it there. I was perusing the beer case, when a “team member” offered assistance in my search.

“I’m looking for a beer to make beer can chicken with,” I said.

“What???” he replied.

“You’ve never heard of beer-can chicken??” I asked stunned.

“Nope, what is it?”

“It’s when you stick a can of beer up the chicken’s bum and cook it on the grill,” I answered.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

We settled on Narragansett Bay. The cans were a bit tall, but the flavor profile was just right for such a dish.

Back at Dina’s house, dinner preparations were a bit harried. I didn’t arrive until 6:30 and guests were expected at 7:30. The chickens were still in their packages. No time for any sort of marinade or brine. So I pulled the skin away from the meat and rubbed salt and butter on the meat. I smoothed the skin back over.

Half way through the cooking, we took the chickens off the grill, put some wood chips on the embers, and finished the chickens with a little smoke.

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:8/27/2008 06:41:00 PM Beautiful! How long did the chicken cook? I've always meant to try this method. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:8/27/2008 09:36:00 PM *Gasp*

Look at that crispy skin! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:8/28/2008 07:40:00 AM Lydia, these chickens were big, and took over an hour and a half. Normal size chickens would probably take an hour.

Melissa, Nothing like a little butter under the skin to assist the process! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous limeduck DATE:8/29/2008 08:26:00 AM Would Fred Flintstone have eaten Beer Can Chicken? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:8/29/2008 04:16:00 PM limeduck, I bet he would have liked this one. I guess that's four dishes he would eat. :-) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Kristen DATE:8/30/2008 11:23:00 PM The guy at whole foods must have been under a rock for the past few years. Who doesn't know about beer can chicken?
Yours look gorgeous! I always feel like they are a bit violated with the can, but it is such a great method. We use it all the time! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bishop22 DATE:8/31/2008 07:02:00 PM How about Beer Can Fried Chicken? ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:9/02/2008 07:19:00 AM Kristen, I think that guy must have been living under a rock. After he admitted ignorance, we started polling all the other team members. He was the only one who had never heard of it.

Bishop22, I did try smoked and fried chicken once. It seemed like a good idea at the time -- after all, everything fried tastes better and everything smoked tastes better. Alas, the sum was lesser than each of the parts. I think it had something to do with the protein coagulation, the texture of the skin and the chicken's inability to hold onto a crispy crust. ----- --------