Thursday, August 22, 2013

chillaxin chicken (aka beer can chicken)

This recipe was definitely telling me, "post me!" yesterday.  That is, it was telling me that until I fell asleep some time after dinner (*cough* at 7 pm) and didn't wake up until I got up at 5 (okay, you caught me--I hit snooze.  It was actually 5:17) this morning.

Okay, so that's a bit of an exaggeration:  I did wake up for about an hour to brush my teeth and finish some reading that I needed to do for today.  Only 9 hours of sleep, you know.  No big deal.

Long days that are busy make me tired, and I'm sure there isn't a single person who can't relate to that.  Now, I love cooking/baking/you-name-it, but, when I get home at the end of a really long day, sometimes my energy, if not my time, is limited.  (Sometimes, this is not true, of course.)
Some of those days, I like to make this beer can chicken.  It takes minimal prep time, especially because I make a big ol' batch of that BBQ spice rub listed below.  Dry the chicken, douse it with a healthy dose of lime juice, and generously season it with something spicy.  Put it on a beer can and have dinner within an hour.  Get some laundry done, clean the bathroom, catch up on your favorite food blogs, or watch some New Girl while it's cooking--you've got plenty of time!  Of course, I'm sure you can guess my diversion(s) of choice, given those options....

On that note, TGIAF.  (thank goodness it's almost friday!)

P.S. Clever name, right?  Because it's so easy?  Well, just be warned that the chicken itself looks so relaxed when it's loungin' on its side.  What?  You think I'm trying a little too hard with the name?  Hey now!  my mama told me that was clever!

1 four-pound chicken (just pick the smallest you can find)
1 half-full can of beer (I used Budweiser)
1 lime
spice rub (see note below)
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 ¼ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ tablespoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
up to ¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper (¼ teaspoon for really spicy; try out ⅛ teaspoon or just a pinch for less spicy)

  1. Mix up the spice rub by adding the brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to a small bowl.  Stir until combined.
  2. Remove the neck and giblets from the inside of the chicken and discard.
  3. Rinse the chicken, inside and outside.  Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Squeeze lime juice over the entire chicken.  Rub entire chicken generously with spice rub.
  5. Place bird cavity over the half-full beer can (see pictures).  Grill over medium-high indirect heat with grill cover on for about 1 hour or until the chicken registers at 160 degrees in the thigh meat.  Alternatively, you can bake the chicken for about an hour at about 400 degrees F by standing it in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet.  Again, the chicken temperature should register about 160 degrees F in the dark meat.  If you are baking and the skin starts to get too brown, simply wrap with aluminum foil.
  6. When cooked through, remove the chicken from the grill/oven and carve when cool enough to handle.
  7. Serve with BBQ sauce & a grilled veggie (try sweet corn on the grill--with or without all the fixings!).
Note:  This is the same spice rub that I used for these spicy shrimp tacos.  I have a big batch (see the original recipe at Smitten Kitchen--I used cayenne pepper for the ground red pepper) and have been using it for a number of dishes.  You can pretty much use any spice rub here, though.

Makes about 5 servings.  Adapted from Young, Broke, & Hungry and Smitten Kitchen.

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