Beer Can Chicken

I love food! and that shows in my ‘personality’ 😉

But its been a couple of years now that I actually started cooking food, and while I like to eat the traditional everyday food like the simple Dal and Rice and love that to bits, I am more of an experimental cook. Or atleast, I try to be.

When on tour with The Raghu Dixit Project, our Tour Manager / Sound Engineer, Gary Lee told me about ‘Beer Can Chicken’ and just the thought of it fascinated me so much that I had to try it. I heard about this a couple of years back, but never got around to trying it out and earlier this week, I was suddenly reminded of it. And I just had to make it!

Let’s do this like a journal more than a recipe. Especially because I have no idea the exact measurements of things that went in.

The idea is simple and sounds amazing – you take a whole chicken, spice it and in the cavity stuff an opened beer can with beer in it and roast it at not too high a temperature for a relatively long time, this way the outside becomes crisp and crunchy and the beer evaporates keeping the insides and the meat moist and succulent when done. Also, my research suggested that the fat melts off and falls down to the tray and the meat remains lean! Thats it!

So we went down to ASDA and got 2 whole spiced chicken, and luckily, they come with the insides cleaned and they are moderately spiced. So all I had to do is add the Indian touch, i.e, make it significantly spicier! And here all that you have to remember is coat the outside generously with oil, I used Olive Oil and also whatever you think is a good amount of spice on the surface, add a touch more than that. Things never stay in place or get soaked into the meat, its better to have some extra so when the skin crisps up, you get a nice crunchy exterior that tastes awesome!

I couldn’t find smaller beer cans around where I was staying so I got 2 small coke cans, emptied them, and filled that up with beer. Chopped some garlic, and some herbs and added it into the can. I figured, when that evaporated, it would leave it all nice and tasty.

Then you prop the chicken, with the beer in the cavity so the bird is sitting on your tray much like the traditional picture of Humpty Dumpty that you have in your mind. Something like this

Have your oven pre-heated to about 200 degrees celcius and once you think the oven is hot enough, reduce the temperature to about 180 – 190 depending on your oven and put the chicken in and go about your work! This will cook slowly, over the next hour or so.

I even put some potatoes in there, so they roast along and also cook in the juices that will drop into the tray! And guess what – they did 🙂

I basted this at 30 mins, and then again at the hour’s mark. After an hour of cooking at 190, I turned up the heat to 230 degrees celcius so the outside gets really crisp. for 15 more mins and then switched off the oven and let it sit (pardon the pun :p) for 10 mins.

It was time to then take the chicken out of the oven and feed it to the hungry pack waiting!

It was time to then quickly cut it up (which I failed miserably at!) and serve it along with some buttered veggies, and saute´ed mushrooms and the roast potatoes of course. The juices along with some of the remaining beer, made for a great sauce along with it. And the final plated dish looked something like this

Kindly excuse the quality of the photos, they were all taken with my phone and in a tearing hurry because the rest of them were polishing the food up!

 

Gaurav