Make your own Beer-in-the-Butt Chicken!
By Michelle Leon
As those summer days wind down and we head into the golden days of fall, many of us struggle to say goodbye to the joys of the backyard barbecue Like pulling in the dock at the cabin, the placing of the BBQ into the basement is another bittersweet ritual as the cool air travels in and birds head south.
But there is still time left to fire up the Q. So, put on your Vikings or Packers jersey, crack open a cold one and get ready for the strange spectacle that is a chicken cooking upright on the barbie (with a beer can in its nether-regions). Picture and recipe below!
What you need:
One 3/4 lb. whole chicken
One can of beer
Two cups of mesquite chips
Seasonings for beer (see below)
What you do:
1. Soak 2 cups of mesquite chips in water for one hour. Wrap chips in tin foil. Leave packet open at the top.
2. Fire up the BBQ—an excessive amount of charcoal is not needed.
3. Drink half the beer. Remove top of can with a can opener.
4. Season the remaining half beer. Suggestion: 1 tablespoon of bourbon, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon oregano, and a heaping teaspoon of Cajun spice and one clove minced garlic. Free-style spices to your liking.
5. Make a dry rub for the chicken. Suggestion: ½ cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of Cajun spice, one teaspoon dry mustard, 1 chicken bouillon cube finely crushed and a pinch of ground red pepper.
6. Cover chicken with dry rub including inside of cavity and beneath skin.
7. Form hot charcoal into a ring and place mesquite chips in the center.
8. Carefully place chicken upright on beer can. Place on grill above the chips and lower barbecue cover.
9. Prepare baste by seasoning one stick of melted butter. Suggestion: 1 tablespoon of bourbon and one teaspoon of apricot preserves. Once again, free-style it!
9. Baste chicken every fifteen minutes.
10. Chicken will be ready when juices run clear and internal temp reaches 180 degrees in the dark meat portions. Cooking time will vary but 1 to 1 ½ hours should do the trick.
11. Let chicken rest ten minutes then carve.
Serve with fresh sweet corn and tossed salad. And maybe buy another beer or two -- the chicken won't be the only one thirsty. -- Michelle Leon