Here's the text message convo my husband and I had Friday afternoon:
Me: "I just stuck a can of soda up a chicken's ass and grilled it."
Husband: "Not sure what that means, but whatever turns you on."You know what turns me on? A perfectly roasted chicken, crispy on the outside, flavorful and oh-so-very juicy on the inside . . . cooked without my having to turn on the oven. (Cue the food porn music.)
Pretty sexy, right?
For years, I've heard rumors of the awesomeness of Steven Raichlen's Beer Can Chicken recipe. But the prospect of sticking a can up a chicken's hoohoo seemed so rude, or so like a cliche prison movie, that I just couldn't bring myself to make it.
But then we got a grill. And I ran out of shabbat chicken recipes. And it got so unbearably hot that I couldn't fathom turning on the oven.
So there was nothing to do but to try the Beer Can Chicken recipe.
Of course, I had two dozen bottles of beer in the house but no cans. So I made do with a can of aranciata.
The recipe calls for popping the tab on the can and then making an additional 6-7 holes on top of the can. I didn't want to ruin my knives, so I just used a can opener to remove half the top of the can.
I prepped the chicken with a dry rub -- lots of kosher salt, pepper, paprika, herbs, fennel seeds, cayenne (anything and everything I had on hand) -- then left it in the fridge for a while so that the salt pulled some of the moisture from the skin. About a half hour before I wanted to start grilling, I took the chicken out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature.
Then it was time for the procedure.
I apologized to the chicken, lowered it gently on the can, and set up the drumsticks so that they acted as two legs of a tripod.
I preheated the grill, set it up to cook on indirect heat at 350 degrees, and placed the chicken on the grill. I then closed the lid and left it alone. (I did not go through the extra step of setting up a smoker, as Raichlen suggests. It was fine; I didn't miss it.)
An hour later, the chicken emerged looking tanned, relaxed, and gorgeous.
And after resting it for 20 minutes, the chicken was ready to be consumed. Nom nom nom.
I didn't manage to get any photos of the carved chicken, as it was so delicious we pretty much inhaled it immediately. But the skin was glazed and crispy, the meat was so juicy and flavorful, and I declared it even better than Zuni Chicken.
So this chicken is NSFW, but RFD (really frickin' delicious). San Pellegrino Can Chicken might be on the menu for next week's shabbat dinner too.
Have you tried beer can chicken? Was it worthwhile to use the smoker?