Thursday, 22 January 2009

WK Baked Beer Can Chicken - RNW

It always starts the same - no matter what blog you read they all begin with some variation on: "I've always wanted to, but never have . . ." And I'm no different. Beer Can Chicken AKA Beer in The Butt Chicken, Dancing Chicken, Chicken on a Throne. It's a novel approach to doing a whole bird. I've seen it done on TV, I've seen it on blogs, and my friends, it was time I finally tried it for myself.

Beer Can Chicken (BBC) wasn't the only first I had on this occasion - I've never cooked a chicken before. Not a whole chicken. Of course I've done wings, and breasts and thighs and drumsticks, but not the whole bird. So this was a double exciting cooking venture!

I couldn't do it on the BBQ (patio is closed, also because the building BBQ is an open grill, no lid), the preferred method of cooking it, so the oven would have to do. I researched a bunch of recipes online for oven and BBQ, but I didn't follow any particular one.

There are several approaches to making BCC, whether it was making a BBQ spice rub or say a jerk spice rub, rubbing the outside of the skin, rubbing under the skin, what type of beer to use etc etc etc. I went with some simple decisions: a mixed spice rub, rubbing the outside, with a beer that LJ will drink (with the rest in the 6 pack, as I don't drink beer) and, well the oven.


Spice Rub

  • Paprika

  • Ground coriander

  • Garlic Powder

  • Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Seasoning

  • S&P

  • Oregano

  • All Seasoning

Mixed them all together. I don't measure the amounts, so just eye it. Go with the flavours you like to be strongest.

Other Ingredients

  • Whole Chicken

  • 1/2 Can of Beer

You also have to choose a beer. On this occasion, we went with Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale. The Pride of Nova Scotia. Apparently those who like it, like it a lot.


Within 5 minutes of cooking, you could smell the chicken and the spices cooking - filled up the entire apartment and it smelled so good. It didn't take long for my mouth to start watering.

As soon as I pulled the bird out, I was excited. It looked soo crispy.

Look at him, he looks like he's doing the Twist!

I had to be very careful with the beer can, as it was super hot, and you can see the steam screaming out of the chicken's butt.

Just so darn cute. He's just sitting there! And the juices . . .

I am not an expert carver. Other than 1 or 2 store bought roasted chickens I've hacked before, I've never done it before. The key is a sharp knife, as I could cut through the crispy skin without tearing it apart. And the bird was mega-moist inside.

We ended up eating half the bird. It wasn't a big bird, but it was just the right size for 2 people.

Of course, I went with the wing pieces.

It was so moist and cooked to perfection that I had to do very little carving. The wing piece basically fell off the bird. Here you can see me pulling the wingette from the drummy.

It was so crispy. And tasty! Damn tasty. The spice blend that I used worked really well for the chicken.

I can only imagine what this would have tasted like done on a BBQ.

I have to say, this was one of the best chickens I have ever had. I really can't express how wonderful this little experiment turned out. And it really wasn't that hard to do.

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME? There are only 2 technical changes I would do next time:

1) Cheap beer. Or ginger ale, or some other liquid. I really didn't taste the beer itself in the chicken, it was just the moisture that did the trick. I had read on a few blogs that it didn't make a difference, and now I believe it.

2) While the meat itself was moist, it was kinda blah. I would use my flavour injector next time to make sure there was taste all the way through.

There are other improvements I might change for variations. I think this done with a Jerk rub would be awesome, or a more Smoked Paprika heavy rub would be good too. Actually, I'm also thinking a Buffalo Butter or Suicide BCC would be a cool concept too - with butter/hot sauce in the can . . . oh the possibilities!

Overall, this was a great meal. Had it with some corn and buns, and it was simply heaven. And the leftovers will be used for chicken quesadillas and chicken salad sandwiches! I will definetely be doing BCC again!

1 comment:

Teena in Toronto said...

I love beer can chicken! I make it all the time!

And I love that you used a Keiths, my fav beer!