Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beer Butt Chicken

Good evening everyone! Most at home chefs have one or two recipes that they've always wanted to try, but just have never gotten around to cooking. Maybe it's something daunting like beef bourguignon or beef wellington. Maybe it features an ingredient you're not comfortable with using. Or, maybe you just don't have the necessary tools to create the recipe properly.

For me, the latter is accurate. I have one recipe that I've wanted to make for three years. A dish that I have found multiple variants for, but have never had the tools to tackle. Tonight that ends - tonight, I'm making...

Beer butt chicken

Laugh all you want, but this delightfully simple premise of roasting chicken on a grill has always fascinated me. We're not ones to shy away from using alcohol in our cooking and the process of slow roasting a chicken while marinating it inside with a can of beer just seemed like such a brilliant way to develop a great flavored chicken. Alas, we didn't have a grill to treat this recipe properly. As we've documented over the past two weeks - we now HAVE a grill and we are using it. Tonight, I'm crossing off one of my dream recipes. Let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Beer Butt Chicken
Original Recipe From: Jamie's America

What You'll Need:
(Serves 4)

1 Large Whole Chicken (3.5 LBS and up)
1 Can of Pilsner Beer
1 Teaspoon Ground Fennel
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 Teaspoon Light Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Mild Chili Powder
Olive Oil

Begin by preheating your grill and cleaning the grates. Your manufacturer's recommendation may vary, but our grill maker (Weber) suggests brining the grill to 500 degrees prior to cooking.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the spices with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Whisk together until you've created a nice blend, then use this rub to cover the entire chicken - inside and out, making sure to fill every nook and cranny of the bird. If possible, try to work some of the rub under the skin of the chicken as well.

Next, open your beer and help yourself to half of the can. (Nice bonus right? Dinner AND drinks!). There's not delicate or proper way to describe this next I'll just say it. Take the beer can and place it in the chicken's...rear cavity. Stick it in far enough that only the last 1/2 inch of the can or so is sticking out (it will appear like the chicken is 'sitting' on the can).


Cook the chicken using the two zone system of grilling, if you have multiple burners, leave one burner on, but set the chicken on the other side (over the burners that are off) if you're using charcoal, arrange the coals to one side of the grill and place the chicken on the opposite side. Just like in last week's chipotle orange chicken recipe, the indirect heat allows the chicken to slow roast, keeping all of the juices inside the bird.

Carefully rest your bird on the grill grates, making sure it wont tip over during cooking. Stick a few extra sprigs of thyme into the 'neck' of the chicken if you have them available, that will add a nice layer to the smoked flavor of the chicken.

Once everything is situated, close the lid of your grill and let the chicken roast for 70 to 90 minutes - or until the chicken is golden brown and the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Remove the chicken from the grill, carefully pull out the beer can, carve and enjoy!

The Results:
Note: Flavor does not translate through the monitor - do NOT lick your screen

This recipe was worth the wait. Slow roasted chicken, be it in the oven or on the grill, always packs great flavor. Slow roasting chicken that was marinated with the vapors of a light ale? Even better. The chicken was juicy, packed full of smokey -fresh off the grill - flavor and yet had a great undertone of a crisp light ale. DELICIOUS!

That's all we have for you this week. We're back next week with two brand new fresh and flavorful recipes. Until then,


1 comment:

  1. this looks delicious! so you preheat the grill to 500, do you then turn the heat down on your grill?