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Tim's Beer Can Chicken

 

Tim's Beer Can Chicken is not only my favorite chicken ever, it has the added bonus of making me chuckle the entire time it's cooking. There's no two ways about it - it just looks funny. I got my annual fix of Tim's signature dish over July 4th while staying with him and Lolly. As a side, I picked sugar snap peas from my godmother's garden that were so good, we ate them raw. Lolly made an Iranian yogurt sauce that was not the most obvious pairing but that was beyond perfect. Tim removed the impaled can (more giggling) and carved the chicken. The perfect meal was served. The beer had done its magic; the entire chicken was juicy and tender. I've always found white meat on chicken a little dry but in this case, I'm happy with any part of the bird. 

 

Only being able to eat this during grilling season is just not enough, so I started wondering why it couldn't be done in an oven. A couple of seconds on Google showed me that I was far from the first person to have this idea. While there are most definite advantages to the grilled version, it was still absolutely delicious and now I can make it all year round! Below are the recipes for both versions as well as the recipe for Lolly's amazing yogurt sauce. 

 

 

To Brine or Not to Brine? 

If you want the most succulent bird possible (i.e as good as Tim's), then it is definitely worth it but if you are pressed for time, it is not absolutely necessary.

 

Brine

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of table salt

1/2 cup of sugar

 

Method:

1. Dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 quarts of cold water in a stockpot or dutch oven.

2. Immerse the chicken in the brine, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you want a particularly succulent bird, allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator.

 

Beer Can Chicken

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup all purpose rub (if you don't like spicy, try the fowl rub instead)

1 can of beer for grill method (2 cans of beer for oven method), any beer will do

 

Method on the grill:

1. Heat the grill. If gas, heat to high and if using coals, until they glow orange and begin to ash. 

2. Wash the chicken inside and out and remove any giblets. 

3. Pat dry with paper towels (inside and out).

4. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken.

5. Pat the chicken all over with the rub and set aside.

6. Open the can of beer and pour out at least a third of the liquid.

7. Holding both of the chicken legs apart, gently lower the chicken onto the can until it is able sit upright on its own.

8. When the grill has reached 325 °F,  add the chicken and cook covered until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F in the thigh. Test after 1 hour and 15 minutes but it may take up to 1 hour and a half.

9. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing the beer can and carving.

 

Method in the oven:

1. Heat the oven to 350 °F.

2. Wash the chicken inside and out and remove any giblets. 

3. Pat dry with paper towels (inside and out).

4. Rub the olive oil all over the chicken.

5. Pat the chicken all over with the rub and set aside.

6. Open the can of beer and pour at least a third of the liquid into a baking tray that is at least 2 inches deep.

7. Holding both of the chicken legs apart, gently lower the chicken onto the can until it is able sit upright on its own.

8. Open the second can of beer and pour half into the baking tray.

9. Place the chicken in the baking tray and roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

10. Pour the remaining beer over the chicken allowing it to drizzle into the pan and roast for a further 45 minutes (the chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 160 °F in the thigh). 

11. Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carefully removing the beer can and carving.

 

Iranian Yogurt with Fresh Mint, Raisins and Walnuts

 

Ingredients:

2 cups of plain Greek yogurt

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup of golden raisins (soaked for 1 hour in hot water)

2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts

 

Method:

1. Put the yogurt in a bowl. 

2. Add the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper.

3. Mix well with a fork until creamy.

4. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix again. 

 


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