It's truly inhumane today in New York with a windchill in the single digits, but I can feel spring in the air nonetheless. The light has changed; the sun is higher up in the sky and now it peeks up a bit earlier in the a.m. and tucks down just a smidge later in the p.m. Just as the day starts, I now hear the familiar sound of the spring birds sing-songing outside my bedroom window, which needless to say gives me great joy. The thaw is coming, friends.
Of course winter has not stopped me from summering; I've been barbecuing each and every weekend + a little windchill isn't about to hold me back now. Last weekend it was baby back ribs with the homemade BBQ sauce from my book + a delicious sweet corn pudding on the side. This Saturday night I'm planning on coating two plump chickens with a spice rub, perching both of those bad boys over beer cans, and cooking them for about an hour over a low heat. If you've never had beer can chicken, I suggest you get busy this weekend because it's simply the best BBQed chicken ever.
Winter, summer...it's just a state of mind. Just don't forget your hat and mittens.
BEER CAN CHICKEN (PRINT RECIPE CARD)
From my book: Summer: A User's Guide
Ingredients - Spice Rub:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1-teaspoon garlic powder
1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, giblets removed
2 teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1 can of beer
In a small bowl, combine spice rub ingredients and set aside.
Rinse chicken with cold water, pat dry with paper towels
Lightly coat chicken with oil, then season, inside and out, with the spice rub mixture.
Open the beer can and pour out ¼ of the beer. Carefully place the can on a flat surface, then lower the chicken onto the beer can so the can fits snugly inside the cavity of the bird. Be careful not to spill the beer.
The chicken will need to cook upright, so carefully place it on the grill and balance it on its two legs and the can – like a tripod.
Close the lid to the grill and cook over indirect medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh (Approximately 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours).
When done, carefully remove the chicken from the grill, being careful not to spill the hot beer.
Allow bird to rest for approximately 10 minutes before lifting it from the can.
Discard beer, carve chicken and serve.