Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beer Can Chicken

Arizona is really making a name for itself with all of it's local breweries, microbreweies, and nanobreweries. A local favorite of mine is San Tan Brewing Company in Historic Downtown Chandler, and their seasonal German Wheat beer is the infamous Mr. Pineapple. The can design is perfectly summery, and who doesn't love a good pineapple beer?! What's even better than that, is shoving a whole chicken on top of said beer and grilling it until cooked through. The skin turns crispy and full of barbecue flavor, and the beer keeps the meat moist and tender. This was my first experience making beer can chicken, and I can't rave enough about it! As long as 
it's summer and we have a grill, there will be beer can chicken being served in my house. Luckily for us (and my tummy) it's basically summer all year long in AZ!

Beer Can Chicken

  • 6 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 3-4 lb. whole chicken (giblets removed if necessary)
  • 1 12-oz. can beer
  • 4 peeled and smashed garlic cloves

Preheat on side of your grill to 350-400 degrees F. If you do not have a drip tray in your grill, lay a large piece of heavy duty foil down on the cool side of the grill.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, paprika, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mustard powder.

Open your can of beer, and drink it halfway down. Got a good buzz? Great! Now drop the garlic cloves into the beer.

Smother the chicken in the olive oil and then rub well with your seasoning mixture, be sure to get into all of the crevices. Leave no spot of chicken un-seasoned.

Place beer can on a baking sheet, then hold the chicken upright and  place chicken cavity over the beer can. It should set firmly on the beer.

Carry your beer can chicken to the grill and place on the cool side of the grill. Close the lid and cook for 1 hour. Do not open the grill to check on it at this time. Just leave it alone.

After an hour on the grill, open the lid, insert a meat thermometer into the breast and close the lid again. Cook for another 30 minutes, checking to make sure that the grill temperature stays between 300-350 degrees F. After 30 minutes, open to check the meat thermometer. If it reads 160-170, you may pull it off of the grill. If it is not quite done, close the lid, and let cook for another 30-40 minutes, checking the meat thermometer to read 160-170 degrees F every 10 minutes.

When removing the beer can chicken from the grill, be very careful. Use tongs, oven mitts, and/or a spatula to get it back on the baking sheet to transfer back to the kitchen. Cover with tin foil and allow the chicken to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

When ready to carve, carefully remove the chicken from the beer can, remove the wings and thighs, then carve out the breast meat. Serve hot.

Largely based on this Food52 recipe

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