Monday, June 22, 2009

Beer Can Chicken...Beer Butt Chicken


Two birds awaiting to be eaten. I was too keen on getting the flavour under the skin and I tore one of the breasts. It pulled back during cooking, but was still tender and flavourful.


The $1 deal.

Or whatever you want to call it...I've been seeing so much about beer can chicken lately that I thought I should try it one day. Everyone says how great it is and moist and delicious. My aunt even sent me a (note I say "a" because I need TWO! I always cook TWO for my huge family!), but I'm thankful to her for thinking of me and taking the time and money. We were at Home Depot on Saturday morning and I came across the exact same chicken holder for C$1 (that's like $1.95 US - just kidding it's only about US$1.15), but she did pay US$3 on sale for it in L.A. There are fancier, much more expensive chicken holders out there where you just pour all your ingredients into the built in cup, which look like a plate with a cup in the middle, in case you don't want to take the chance and get poisoned by the chemicals that haven't been associated with any diseases they haven't discovered yet. I'm just waiting for the day when CNN reports that people who used beer cans in their chicken recipes more than once a week are now developing mysterious skin lesions or alzheimers, cancer, etc. Well, I'll take the chance.

Then I made my husband stop by the grocery store to get two 3-1/2 lbs. air chilled chickens so I could go home and start my new experiment finally.
All dressed up and no place to go.


I'm not a beer drinker or a wine drinker, or a drinker for that matter. My boss way back when I was just a cute little young thing, use to say I was such a cheap date! LOL! Guess what? I still AM?! But hubby does drink on occasion when we have company who want free alcohol! Normally, we don't buy canned beer, but when we were driving over the Detroit/Windsor border crossing, my husband came out with a case of canned Bud Light. Now, 9 months later, guess what? There's still 18/24 cans left! Well, 16 now. He had to drink 1/2 from each can so that I had a can to put the chicken on. Hmm...if I had thought a little harder, I could have just opened one can, and emptied half into a Coca Cola can which we have plenty of.

If you google "BEER CAN CHICKEN", you will find so many different versions of it. Everyone has their own seasoning combination, method of preparing the chicken and basting the chicken. Butt, I think that no matter how you do it, it will always be a juicy and deliciously awesome!


For two whole air-chilled chickens:

2 whole 3-1/2 to 4 lbs. air chilled chickens
1 cup butter
2 cloves fresh crushed garlic
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 cans of beer (drink or discard half from each) or use gingerale if you don't have any beer on hand
Butter mixture. I'm probably doing it all wrong but if you know me, I don't follow directions very well and have a poor memory.
Directions:

1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a bit of water for gravy.

1. In a medium bowl, melt butter in microwave. Add spices and mix to combine.

2. Separate skin of the chicken breast as much as you can down into the legs and spoon 1/4 of butter mixture under skin of each chicken and add a sprig of rosemary. Pour the remaining butter mixture into the beer can with the beer. If it starts bubbling over, just pour the rest into the chicken cavities, divided evenly between the two. Or spread some salt and pepper into the cavity of each chicken.

3. Let it marinade in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight if possible.

4. When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 F or your BBQ on low. Place the beer can with beer/butter mixture into the chicken holder in a large roasting pan and place the chicken onto the holder.

5. Cook until internal temperature reaches 180F (about 1-1/2 hours), use a basting brush to brush juices from the bottom of the pan every 1/2 hour. When it is cooked, remove from oven and let it rest for about 20 minutes before cutting.

For gravy:

6. pour into a small pot and skim off as much fat as possible. Bring to a boil, add a bit of cornstarch slurry and return to a boil. Add more or less cornstarch for desired thickness.

Leftovers make great sandwiches as well.

I served this with broccoli and mashed potatoes. It is very tender and juicy. I'm sure the type of chicken that you use does impact the flavour and the texture of the meat. I think that air chilled chicken and turkey are the best for roasting because even if it is overcooked, the white meat is still juicy, of course unless you REALLY overcook it.
Beer volcano after adding butter to beer. I didn't do well in chemistry.

Mess all over the counter and floor. Maybe if I spent the extra money on the fancy one, I wouldn't have this problem.
Twins awaiting.
Peekaboo -see how juicy it is? Pour it out for the delicious gravy.

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