Tex-Mex beercan chicken
This is an unusual way to cook chicken with beer. The basic idea is to carefully balance the chicken on a 3/4 full can of beer using its legs as an additional support, coat it with a flavoured rub and roast it. The steam from the beer permeates the chicken to produce a succulent dish. I think my taco mix suits this admirably, though any flavoured rub would do.
Our American friends seem to barbecue chicken using this method, and though I'm sure it's worth trying, I can't believe that the upper part of the chicken would even get warm on our barbecue. And we have a BIG barbecue. I would welcome any feedback.
The process is made even easier and safer with one of these: Grillpro Stainless Steel Chicken Roaster.
- 1 free range chicken 1.3 to 2 kg (3 to 4 lb)
- 6 tablespoons taco mix, El Paso taco mix or a seasoning rub of your choice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 440 ml can of beer or lager
- 1 tangerine or orange (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200° C (400° F - Gas 6)
- Wash the outside of the beer can
- Remove the parson's nose, any giblets, bags, tranklements etc. from the chicken
- Cut off and discard the Parson's nose.
- Rinse inside and out under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen towel
- Rub 1 tablespoon of the taco mix into the cavity of the bird
- Rub the outside of the chicken with the olive oil and coat with 3 tablespoons of taco mix
- Seal the neck of the bird by folding over and skewering with skewers or cocktail sticks
- Open the beer and toast the start of the proceedings with about a ¼ of the beer - you don't want a full can
- Punch a few holes around the empty top-part of the can
- Add the remaining rub to the beer tin
- Sit the chicken on the beer can in a baking tray and balance it on its legs. A small chicken sits quite happily; a large chicken might be a bit trickier
- Cut the top off the tangerine so the juice can run down while it cooks, affix with a cocktail stick into the top cavity (see photo) and add the cut slice as a hat!
- Place the baking tray in the bottom of the oven
- After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 180° C ( 350° F - Gas 4)
- The chicken should be cooked in about 1.5 hours, depending upon the size of the bird. Check every 15 minutes towards the end. It is done when the juices run clear if the deepest part of the flesh (eg the thigh) is pierced with a metal skewer or sharp knife
- Remove the chicken extremely carefully with oven gloves and tongs if needed.
- Allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving
The remaining beer could be used to make gravy if needed.
Try this with a cock pheasant (hens are too small) and use cider or wine instead of beer. Wash out an empty 440 ml beer can and pour 330 ml of dry white wine or dry cider into it. For this, a herb and garlic rub is excellent - this can be made with the ingredients (minus the onion and pork) used in the Slow roast herby pork belly recipe.
Chicken falls over?
My chicken has just fallen over, I may have to get one of these: (beer can) Chicken roaster
Large chickens seem to be ok - it's the smaller birds that have problems balancing on a beer can. 440ml is probably the biggest can you should use with all but the largest birds. The last few times I have made this, I have placed the chicken and can inside an oven-proof saucepan, in the oven, so the chicken has a little more support if it tends to lean over. It also makes far less mess if it does fall over!
... or go for the real thing: Grillpro Stainless Steel Chicken Roaster!