Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Beer-butt Chicken

Yes, you read that correctly. A beer can + a willing chicken = a ridiculously tasty result. This would be a perfect addition to a barbecue (just ignore the fact it's done in the oven) but also makes a brilliant alternative to traditional roast chicken, no matter what the occasion. The version I did had a spicy rub but you can easily adapt it to your own flavour preferences, or just leave it plain! The idea behind this is that the beer steams the chicken from the inside, giving you incredibly moist meat. So...here's how it's done:

You will need:
1 x 1.8kg whole chicken(adapt the cooking time accordingly depending on the size you get)
Olive oil
1 x 330ml can beer (if you can't find this size of beer, just use an empty can of coke)
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded
1 bunch spring onions
Handful of fresh coriander

For the rub:
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1-2 dried red chillies
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. soft dark brown sugar

First of all, preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Bash all the rub ingredients together in a pestle and mortar until they form a powder. Be prepared to use some elbow grease at this stage... the coriander seeds are little buggers.

Place the chicken in a roasting tray and cut away the strings binding the legs together. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and use your hands to massage the rub all over the chicken, making sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. Crack open the beer can and pour about half away (or drink it) or pour into an empty can if needed. Position the chicken over the beer can so that it is sitting upright in the roasting tray. Having an assistant at this stage is definitely recommended! Also, learn from my mistakes and lean the chicken against the back of the roasting tray...I had a near casualty when I saw the chicken had fallen over in the oven and spilt half the contents of the can. Not ideal!
Sunglasses optional

Cook the chicken for about 1 hour and 10 minutes (or until it looks golden) and check that the juices run clear by inserting a knife into the thickest part. If all's OK, brush the barbecue sauce all over the chicken and cook for a further 10 minutes until the sauce has turned dark and sticky.

Carefully remove the can from the chicken and you're good to go! Serve however you like... use the spring onions and coriander as a garnish or serve with traditional roasties or just simply with salad! I am warning you now though...when there is a hungry boy (and girl) in the vicinity then do not expect this to last long. And FYI, this rub packs a punch!


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