Over Memorial Day weekend we of course wanted to do some BBQing so we did a couple racks of ribs (I am still working on the rub and sauce so I will post those recipes when I get them right). But it is a 3 day weekend. You have to have something else besides ribs right? Well at least I thought so. I mean if you are going to BBQ LETS DO SOME BBQIN'!
Walking around the store Kevin and I decided besides the ribs we would do some nice thick burgers one night. I like to chunk up cheddar cheese and bacon and mix them in with the burgers YUMM! Then we wandered past the poultry section. After looking at the thighs and legs and wondering if we were going to choose to BBQ them I looked at the whole chickens and BING a light bulb went off in my head. I turned to Kevin and announced, "I want to do a beer butt chicken"! The lady next to me looked at me with a strange look like I wanted to violate farm animals and Kevin just flat out asked me what in the heck I was talking about. "You know...beer butt chicken....where you shove the beer can up the chickens..." "Ooohhhhhh" was his response. The lady next to me quickly guided her children away from this obviously deluded woman.
Now Kevin is a BBQ purest. There are those that only cook on coals and those that cook on gas. We have the latter and it drives him nuts. He misses his old charcoal grill and has grumbled on many occasion that using a GAS grill is not REAL grilling. I just laugh and remind him that there are many chefs out there that use gas ummm like who is that guy? OH ya Bobby Flay. I think he has a few cook books on grilling...just a few mind you, and they are on GAS. Get over it (insert more mumbling here)!
We grabbed our doomed chicken and I headed for the beer isle like a woman on a mission, well I was a woman on a mission, so whatever, you know what I mean. "Where the heck are you going now?" was the response I got from Kevin. I explained to him that I needed to find a beer. His answer to that was that we already had beer at home. Well, technically we did, but I was not about to cook my chicken with Miller Lite (sorry to the Miller people but eewwwww). So as Kevin stood, tapping his foot, I scoured the beer isle. You would think I was looking for a priceless jewel, but in my mind it was a very important part of the recipe. I finally decided on a hefeweizen. I didn't want to buy a 12 pack since I only needed one so I spotted the single bottles and grabbed one. Then Kevin pointed out to me that the beer was in a bottle. DUH I knew that. I told him my plan was to use one of the empty Miller Lite cans and pour the hefeweizen in it. See I am always thinking.
Once we got home I jumped online to check out some ideas on how to properly cook a chicken with a beer can up its butt. You can not believe how may recipes you can find for these things! Kevin wandered into the office and asked what I was doing. I showed him all of the ideas I had found. Again, Mr BBQ purest..."That is silly, you just put the beer can in its...and put it on the grill. *sigh* Does he know nothing about me? I laughed. "Since when have you EVER known me to do anything, cooking wise at least, the simple easy way?" he shook his head and walked out of the room.
There were so many ideas, most of which called for some ingredients I didn't have or required overnight marinating. So I knew aside from using their instructions on how to cook the bird, I was going to have use my imagination and go with it.
I got my little bird out and cleaned him all up. Patted him dry and seasoned him liberally with coarse salt, cracked black pepper, and poultry seasoning. Making sure to get into all his little nooks and crannies. Then, after Kevin finished his beer, I washed out the beer can and filled it about half way up with whole garlic cloves. I thought about adding some lemons too, but the hefeweizen has a citrus taste to it so I was hoping that might infuse a bit into the bird during the cooking process. I filled the can to about the 2/3 full mark and got my chicken. After a quick apology to the bird, I slid it down onto the beer can until it's little legs formed a "tripod" with the beer can. I tucked his little wings behind his back to keep them from drying out while it cooked. I started laughing, for some reason he reminded me of a square dancer. Do-se-do and around you go. Ya, I know, weird.
Meanwhile Kevin preheated one side of the BBQ to medium heat. I carefully carried my little friend outside and we placed him on the grill carefully positioning the can with his legs to balance him well.
Then just closed the lid and let him cook. He was approx a 5 pound bird so we cooked him about 1 1/2 hours. But I am sure just like oven times vary so will this. Start checking around an hour depending on the size of your bird.
And TADAAAA what a gorgeous bird! The skin was crispy, the meat was juicy, WOW I am getting hungry just looking at it. Hmmmm I think we will do an Asian version this weekend!
Beer in the Rear Chicken
1 whole chicken 4 to 5 pounds
cracked black pepper
8 to 10 whole garlic cloves
1 can of beer, your choice of brand
Preheat grill on one side to medium.
Wash chicken thoroughly and pat dry with paper towel. Liberally season the bird with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.
Pour the beer into a glass and place the garlic cloves into the empty beer can. Fill the can with beer until it is about 2/3 full. Use a can opener to punch a couple holes in the side of the can just below the rim to allow for steam to escape.
Carefully lower chicken onto the beer can until you can stand the bird in a "tripod" stance. Place the chicken on the other side of the grill away from the heated side. Close the lid. Cook chicken for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Cook to an internal temp of 165 or the juices run clear.