Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beer Butt Chicken: It's What's for Dinner

Warning to my German friends: the following post contains photos depicting (shudder!) CANS of American beer -- Budweiser, no less!

Warning to my to my vegetarian friends (and daughter): the following post contains graphic images of headless, naked, dead (well, I guess that goes with "headless...") chickens.

Apologies to whoever's blog I found this on; I can't remember who it was, but please do give yourself credit in the comments section!

I have high hopes for this evening's dinner (and no, I don't know how many kids will be home) because I have heard about beer-butt chicken for a few years now and have promised myself I'd make it. Finally tonight I am biting the bullet and doing it!

The secret to this recipe is obviously in the beer because it's the beer that gives the chicken the moist, delicious flavor. I can hardly wait till dinner! (Partly because I swam really hard today and have resisted snacking much since I got out of the pool at 3 PM.)

So here's how it's done -- or how I did it, anyway. When it comes to cooking, I am a defiant rule-breaker!

The cast of characters are a whole chicken (or two, or three), kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and any other spices and herbs you want. (I show just a few here, but by the time I was all finished seasoning those birds I'd used salt, pepper, onion powder, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic and goodness, I can't even remember what else!), olive oil, and a can of beer for each chicken. Rub oil on the chicken, then season the outside of it generously. I also put a few sprigs of rosemary as well as gobs of garlic inside the cavity --or, for this particular recipe, "up its butt."

Now pour a bit of olive oil into the bottom of a 13" x 9" oven proof casserole pan. Open the beer can and swig about a third of it. I decided to add some of the beer that I otherwise would have sipped to the olive oil in the pan. Now place the open can in the casserole pan and slide the seasoned chicken over it so the whole chicken rests on the open beer can. In my picture you can just barely see the can of Bud sticking out from the chicken's hiney. Once the chicken is sitting up nicely, polite chicken that he is, you can add other herbs and spices until it feels right to you.

"Dass fuehlt man" ("one feels it"), my mother used to say about both foreign languages and cooking, assuming that everyone had a propensity for both.

At this point, I also cut up a sweet potato, sprinkled brown sugar on it, and placed the slices on the bottom of the pan, as well as in the chicken's "neck" so the steam can't easily escape. Now put the whole mess into a preheated 375 degree oven for about 2 hours, give or take. (The chicken meat will be done at 180 degrees.)

And now we wait! Hopefully our beer butt chicken will be as delicious as I've been anticipating. I'll be serving it with white rice and a salad.

Coming up in this series of "oddly named recipes," we'll make "better than sex cake." It's pretty damn good, but...

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vailian said...

That was a very racy blog entry! You are sure to get an XXX rating from the BlogPolice for that!
But it should up your salivating reader statistics.
You are very courageous-- I am always tempted to sex up my blog but am terrified I will shock my "readers", both of them.

Jen said...

Okay, so how'd it turn out? I've always wanted to try that. I'm making 40 garlic chicken tomorrow. Another recipe I've always wanted to try. Yay for winter!

Carol said...

It was delicious, but very, very messy!


blackcrag said...

Beer-butt Chicken also works on the barbeque.

There's a cheap little thingy you can find in hardware stores that helps the chicken stand up on the grill.

Maybe your daughter can just drink the beer when you have that for dinner.

She-She C said...

Been making beer-can chicken for several years now. Since all the grease goes to the bottom of the pan and the chicken is elevated away, it's the healthiest way to prepare chicken for a post-quadruple by-pass survivor who refuses to live on lettuce.

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