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Okay, so I was hoping to post this over the weekend but football playoffs proved to be a little distraction. Speaking of, this Beer Butt Chicken Recipe may be what your next football gathering is missing!
Just like any other American who has numerous Thanksgiving feast experiences under the belt, I am a huge fan of the roast turkey. But the idea that we have to wait all year to have a roasted bird is just absurd. However, the commitment of brining and roasting the beast is more than just a quick chore. As a kid growing up in another country, the roaster of the choice for my family was chicken. Although it may not sound as grand, never underestimate the power of a perfectly roasted chicken.
Roast chicken can be comforting, satisfying, and impressive if well executed. I try to buy my chicken when it is on sale for under $1.00/pound. I grab a couple birds, cook one of them immediately and usually freeze the other for later use. But don't forget that roasting two chickens is just as easy as roasting one, and the leftover chicken could be used throughout the week for sandwiches, salad, quesadillas, soups, pasta, and etc. Broiler chickens you see at most grocery stores are about 12 weeks in age, making them extremely juicy and tender. I typically go for ones that weigh in around 4~5 lbs.
Beer Butt Chicken photo by SheeeeeUTE
For those of you scared of roasting a chicken, wanting to wow your dining guest, or even just looking for an escape from grilling yet another burger; behold, the beer butt chicken!
Beer Butt Chicken Recipe
Can of beer
How to Make Beer Butt Chicken
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; make sure that it is heated all the way, don’t throw the bird in to the cold oven. Check the temperature using an oven thermometer.2. Open the can of beer, take a good swig, and enjoy the cold refreshing drink.
2. If you take small drinks take another sip leaving just over half the liquid in the can. Resist the temptation of finishing what is left, you need this for the roasting. The beer will make the chicken exceptionally juicy and moist.
3. Set chicken on can, inserting can into the cavity of the chicken. The chicken should be standing on its legs supported by the beer can inserted in the cavity, hence the name of beer butt chicken. Lightly oil, using enough to make the entire surface of the meat glisten, but not so much that you leave a puddle. It's nice to have an inexpensive tool like this one, if you are new at it.
4. Season the chicken well. Kosher salt and freshly ground peppers are all the seasonings you need. Most people go too easy on them, I say don’t be shy. See below for other seasoning variations.
5. Place baking sheet with beer and chicken in the pre-heated oven. Word of advice: two sets of hands here are better than one! The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. For a 4~5lbs bird, you are looking at any where from an hour to an hour and half, at the most. But don’t let the time decide the fate of your dinner guests; stick an instant read thermometer to make sure that you don’t undercook, or even worse overcook.
6. Once the chicken is done, let the bird rest for 10~15 minuets so that your guest have time to view and wow over it :) Okay, so this is to allow the juices to settle back into the meat, but there's nothing wrong with impressing. Remove the chicken from the beer can using oven mitts and spring-loaded tongs. Be very careful, the can is still very hot. All BBQ aficionado's will agree, insulated food gloves comes in super handy for occasions as such. Again, two sets of hands are best.
The end result, is roasted chicken without the usual hassle. Brown and crusty all over, juicy and flavorful inside; and some argue, superior to the standard oven roasted bird.
Variation: Beer Can Chicken
Try adding the spice/herb listed below to your classic salt and pepper seasoning.
1/4 cup of minced rosemary and crushed and minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
Ground coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper equal portions
Feel free to get creative here and don't be shy about sharing your seasoning combination in the comments section below!