Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pop Can Chicken

I am so out of the loop. (Wait, can you be out of the loop if you were never in the loop?) Apparently there was a huge culinary movement in the '90's called the Beer Can Chicken. Ever heard of it? I didn't until recently. Where have I been?

The blog world is teaming with recipes for this strange concoction. (see here, here, here, here, here and here for starters.)

The basic gist of the recipe is:
1. Find a spice rub blend that you like.
2. Take a 5 pound-ish roaster chicken. Take out all the junk they pack inside. Toss it or keep it for whatever you normally do with those icky guts.
3. Give your chicken a nice rinse in the sink. (Don't forget to clean your sink after you do this. Salmonella is not your friend.)
4. Pat the chicken dry as best as you can inside and out. It's the least awkward to do this with two people. One can hold the bird and the other can pat it dry.
5. Sprinkle and rub in your spices.
6. Take a beverage can (beer, pop, tomato juice, water, etc) and pour half of it into a glass so you can drink it later.
7. Carefully pour in 2 Tablespoons of your spice rub into the can. It will fizz up and make a mess if you don't do this slowly. (This is best to do over the sink or you will make a huge mess over your counter and floor. Trust me.)
8. Poke a hole or two in the top of the can with a church key type can opener.
9. Stick the can up the chicken's wazoo. The legs and can will work as a tripod to keep the whole thing balanced.
10. preheat your grill to medium high.
11. Once your grill is sufficiently heated stick the bird in there and close the lid.
12. Don't peek. This is the hard part. The more you open the grill lid, the longer it will take for the meat to fully cook. Estimate lengthening your cooking time around 15 min per each time you open the lid. It's helpful to have an instant read thermometer that you can leave in while you cook.
13. Once the internal temp of the meat is 180F (This will take around 45-90 min depending on your grill, weather, peeking, etc.) carefully remove the bird from the grill.
14. Let the chicken rest around 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove the can.
15. Carefully poke a few holes in the sides of the can with a church key can opener to drain off the remaining liquid inside. The liquid will still be VERY hot.
16. Now it's time to remove the can. It will be stubborn. It's easiest if you can do this with two people. One to man the bird and the other to remove the can from the chicken's can.
17. Now you're ready to carve and eat.

For some reason the chicken looks like it's dancing in this picture. This begs to ask the question, if a grilled chicken could dance, would it do the funky chicken?

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