Sometimes I think I'm the only person in the world who doesn't have a BBQ. This always posed a challenge when I wanted to make something like beer can chicken-and besides, trying to balance a chicken on a can just seemed like a bad idea.
A few months ago, I was invited to the premiere of the Chicken Squad trailer and was gifted a Master Chef beer chicken roaster, which makes the process so much easier (and safer!) to do. Well then. I can't NOT make beer can chicken, right? Fortunately it's pretty easy to make in your oven as well-and with a stand, also very safe. What makes the roaster thing so cool is that you can then make this kind of chicken year round and knowing our family, well... we eat a lot of BC Chicken.
I consulted my friend Cocktail Deeva about what kind of beer to use, and she suggested "something with a kick", so I picked up a can of Krombacher. Once I got cooking, I noticed that the can was far too large so we found an empty Lonetree cider can, filled it with the appropriate amount of beer, and proceeded with the recipe. The chicken did get some of the beer flavour in it, but it wasn't an overwhelming amount. Mostly the meat was just very, very tender.
Some time later I made the chicken again, but this time used Lonetree Cider because honestly, I'd so much rather drink the remaining cider than beer. Lonetree is my favourite! You could not taste any alcohol, but there was a slight flavour of the cider and the chicken was moist and delicious. This is a fun recipe to make, fairly easy, and elicits a happy dance from my family! I found this recipe on Food Network Canada and reduced the amount of bacon, mostly because I didn't want to waste it. The bacon cooked on top of the chicken is delectable in potatoes if you can resist just standing there in the kitchen and eating it by the handful.
one 3 lb chicken
one 12 ounce can of beer or Lonetree apple cider ( I prefer Lonetree cider, since it's a great summer drink. The original is the one I used)
6 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 450F. Cover a rimmed baking tray with foil and set a beer can chicken stand in the middle. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the spice rub ingredients until well mixed. Set aside. Pat the chicken down with paper towels all over so that the spices will coat the skin but not turn all wet from moister and stick to your hands.. Sprinkle the spice mixture all over the chicken, rubbing it into the skin. You can even loosen a bit of the skin on the breasts and spoon a bit of the spice mix inside so that it gets on the meat.
Pour out about 1/2 cup of the beer. Crush and peel the garlic cloves, then stick them in the beer can. Some people have expressed discomfort with making beer can chicken, citing that the cans are likely not food safe on the outside, and the ink in contact with meat may not be a good idea. To counter this, I cover my can with foil and punch out the hole in the top.
Place your can of beer or cider in your stand and then gently fit the spice rubbed chicken over top. I highly recommend purchasing a beer can chicken roaster, because it makes the chicken far more stable and easier to handle without the worry that the whole thing will tip. This is especially important when the chicken is finished cooking and you are trying to remove it from the oven when it's hot and has grease drippings in it.
Lay the bacon over the top of the chicken-my friend Jackie called this a "bacon comb over", Donald Trump style! Somehow I think this is the only acceptable kind of comb over (plus it's pretty darn tasty) Secure the bacon with toothpicks so that it doesn't curl up on the chicken while it bakes.
Place the whole thing in the bottom rack of your oven and bake for 15 minutes before turning the heat down to 350 F. and cooking for about another hour or so longer. You'll know the chicken is done when you insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast reads 185 F.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. You can lift the bacon off and set it aside. I have found the best way to get the chicken off the rack and the beer can is to first. carve off the wings and set them aside on a platter. Next, carve off the legs. Once you have removed them it's easier to just grip the rest of the carcass with tongs and lift it right off the rack onto a cutting board. Carve the breast and place the pieces on a platter with the legs and wings. I like to also cut the bacon into bite sized pieces and add them on the platter to the chicken. If you want, if you are making potatoes as a side dish (mashed or boiled), you can chop up the bacon and toss it in there instead.
My family loved this chicken. It was great the first day, but leftovers were fantastic tossed into salad or made into sandwiches as well. I don't usually like chicken skin but the spice rub was so good that even I was ripping off pieces of skin and nibbling on them! This goes really well with roasted or mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and a green salad.
Or, you could be like me and just stand in your kitchen, fork in hand, shoving warm chicken in your mouth-it's that tasty!
Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!
Adapted from Food Network
Disclosure: This post wasn't sponsored by anyone-I did receive a chicken roaster from BC Chicken Farmers some time ago for a different promotion, but wasn't asked to write about it.