Saturday, December 08, 2007

Beer Can Chicken (with a Lime & Paprika Rub)

Hello! Just a quickie post today - I made beer can chicken on the barbecue for dinner and thought I may as well grab the camera and show you how it went. It's super easy to do (this is the first time I've ever made it), with the most splendidly juicy outcome!

All you need is an uncooked chicken, a can of beer and an oven or barbecue to cook it in/on. I also made a rub for the chicken:
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • zest of 2 limes
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt
Roughly grind the seeds with a mortar and pestle. Add garlic and zest; grind until you have a rough paste. Add juice, paprika and a smattering of salt, mix well and apply to the chicken. I used this particular rub because I thought it would go well with my choice of beer, Monteith's Radler, a zesty lemon and lime flavoured lager. Seeing as it only comes in bottles, I poured it into another can I happened to have handy.

On to the chicken: remove the giblets, rinse the chicken inside and out and dry with a paper towel. Apply some of the rub to the interior and the remainder on the outside - use your hands, rub vigorously. Now, you'll only need half a can of beer for cooking purposes, so discard the portion you won't need down the nearest throat
. Once that's done, punch another two holes in the top of the can.

Now for the tricky part: holding the chicken upright, lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity (see photo above). The chicken's legs should be leaning forward with the brunt of its weight supported by the can.

This is best cooked on a barbecue with a hood; failing that, your oven will work just as well. If you're using gas, turn the heat on full while you're prepping, and turn down to medium or medium/low when placing the chicken on to cook. Place the chicken on a dish (this will collect the juices, otherwise they'll run off and onto the flame causing flareups). Pop it on the heated barbecue plate, away from direct heat and leave to cook with the hood down for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Test the meat with a thermometer poked in the thickest part of the chicken - it needs to be 85 degrees celsius to be cooked. You can also jab it with a fork - if the juices run clear, it's ready.

Once done, g
rab some oven gloves and remove from the heat. Using tongs, carefully remove the can from the chicken - bear in mind everything will be very hot and the can will still have some (hot) beer in it. Once done, leave the chicken to rest for ten minutes before carving.

There are German businessmen who'd pay good money to have this done to them...

And there we have it! A wonderfully crisp, juicy and aromatic chicken. It really was quite simple to do and was very tasty - give it a whirl!

There are concerns about subjecting aluminium cans to heat due to possible toxicity arising from the can's plastic lining, metals and paints. According to this article, the risks are negligible, due to the relatively low heat involved in the cooking process, compared to that of its manufacture clickety.

The following link discusses beers worth experimenting with when making beer can chicken - the article is American, but their core advice is sound clickety.


Barbara said...

Nice one Nige. I did it once.

Anonymous said...

What's in the jar on the sill in the first photo?

Nora B. said...

Hi Nigel,

Your chicken sure looks nice and crispy, yet juicy. I saw this on a cover of a food magazine and wanted to try it, but our bbq cover isn't tall enough for it. So I will enjoy the chicken vicariously through your post :-)


Nigel Olsen said...

Anon - that's my glass eye collection

Nora - enjoy, my dear! btw, I love your milk pudding

Anonymous said...

Yamie, sounds real good and tastes even better, but try to give the people around a new beer, and keep poring the half of the original beer slowely over the chicken while cooking. It makes the crust even crunchier and it lifts the taste.

Nigel Olsen said...

Barb - I've been meaning to make it for ages but just never got round to it

Lucie - Ta, I'll give it a try

Nora B. said...

Nigel, guess what I saw when I was at the hardware store (that's where I go to get you-know-who's Christmas present)? A special contraption that can hold the beer can & chicken just for this purpose! So cool! Do you think that you will make this again?

p/s;: re: pudding, thank you. I made blackberry cheesecake for the Christmas lunch today.

Anonymous said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

This Rocks!!!