Ok, a bit of alcohol is involved in this recipe too, but let me assure you that Bandit did not drink any of it! ;-)
It is known by several name...Beer Butt Chicken, Chicken on a Throne and my personal favorite, Drunken Chicken. I don't know where I first heard of this recipe but it has become my favorite method of cooking a roast chicken. It is easy, it is tasty, all the fat drips off and it produces a lovely crispy skin. I also like that it is very adaptable. You can use it for wee little Cornish hens, smaller chickens, big roasters or even, although I have never tried it, a turkey. For a very little bird, you could use a smaller juice can, a normal 12 oz. for a small chicken and a big liter beer can for a big roaster or turkey. You can do it in the oven or, especially now that summer is on the way, you can do it or the grill.
Now, some folks who don't want to use beer, write about using soda or lemonade in the can, but from what I have read, there may be reasons, be it the alcohol or whatever, that the beer works better. But the choice is yours. The idea is that the liquid evaporates as the bird roasts, basting it from the inside and keeping it moist and juicy while allowing all the fat to drip off into the pan and letting the skin get nice and crispy.
Start with a basic combination of salt, pepper and brown sugar and then let your imagination go from there. The brown sugar is really necessary to help the skin brown and crisp up and then you can take the rub in whatever flavor direction you like. Personally, I like some garlic, some smoky cumin, a little cayenne for a bit of heat...but you can add whatever you like.
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) chicken
1 (12-ounce) can beer
Place the can/chicken, standing upright, in a foil lined pan and roast the chicken at 350 degrees until done, which was about 1 hour for a smaller 3-3 1/2 lb. chicken, up to 2-3 hours for a big roaster or longer for a turkey. An instant read thermometer is a cook's best friend. I will tell you from experience, it is hard to overcook and dry out the bird with this method.
Now, I will also admit it is a bit of an issue removing the can, now containing some boiling hot liquid, from the bird. It much easier with a helper, one to grab the can, one to grab the bird. But I can assure you it is doable alone, grabbing the hot can with a set of tongs and pulling the bird off with a fork.
This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.