Home Cooking 8

A fine chicken using the beer can method

janniecooks | Mar 24, 200804:37 AM

I usually prepare chicken on the grill either using Steven Raichlen's Beer Can Chicken method (from one of his barbeque books), or cut up and marinated in lemon juice and olive oil before grilling. Both are terrific and easy ways to cook chicken. But yesterday I combined the two techniques to produce the greatest chicken I've ever made. In my opinion, it even beats the zuni chicken! Here's what I did:

Make a marinade of the juice from two lemons, about a teaspoon table salt, as much black pepper as you care to grind, and a couple glugs of olive oil (maybe 25% of the volume of lemon juice). Put a 3 1/2 pound chicken into a gallon ziploc bag and pour the marinade over, kneading it in/around the chicken. Marinate for at least 6 hours in the fridge, turning every hour or so.

Preheat the grill. Open a can of beer, drink about one-third of it (or, if you must, pour it down the drain), use a church key opener to make many more holes in the top of the can and then and add a teaspoon or two of Emeril's essence. Put the beer can on a small roasting pan (I use disposable aluminum), remove the chicken from the marinade and place the chicken firmly over the beer can, spreading its legs out to form a tripod. Shower the chicken with about one and a half teaspoons of kosher salt, then sprinkle with/pat on about two or three teaspoons of Emeril's essence. Push one of the squeezed lemon halves into the neck opening to block the steam, or use a small potato, small onion, or piece of apple.

Put the chicken on the grill over indirect heat and let it roast for one hour and a half at 350 degrees. I have a three-burner Weber Genesis grill so I turn off the middle burner and set the chicken in the middle, setting the front and back burners to about medium to maintain an even temperature of 350. For the last ten minutes turn the burners up to about medium-high to crisp the skin.

I gotta tell you this was the juiciest, most flavorful chicken I've had. And because it cooks completely unattended you can devote your time to making sides, or just sipping a lovely G&T and enjoying the delicious smells wafting from your grill.

By the way, I make my own Emeril's essence from a recipe from Epicurious.com for Emeril Legasse's Sticky Chicken. Having experimented with all manner of rubs, inclucding most of Raichlen's, I like Emeril's the best.

Hope you have a chance to try this method for your next chicken. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

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