Vacation Food Experiment: Beer Can Chicken

Sorry, no picture of this one.

Meijer's been having crazy sales on whole chickens (like, get it for $3.50 instead of $8), so I bought one to try a recipe I saw in a comic. Because, hey, that's awesome.

(I had never heard of beer can chicken before, but when I mentioned it to my mom, she said, "Oh, yeah - that works great!" I guess it was a thing, once upon a time.)

So the way it works is you stick a can of beer that you've added some spices to in the cavity of the chicken, then roast it in the oven. One nice thing about this recipe is that since the chicken goes in upright (looking kind of like it's sitting on the beer can), a lot of fat drains off it into the pan.

But here is a bad thing about this recipe: I don't have a meat thermometer. (This might actually be considered a bad thing about me: "There goes ol' Kelly No-Meat-Thermometer," people will whisper as I pass.) So when I took out the chicken and saw that much of the dark meat still had a pinkish cast (as dark meat tends to have), I had no way of verifying that the meat had reached a friendly 160 degrees. Since I am a worrywart, I wound up cutting up the carcass and sticking the parts back in the oven - for 40 minutes. (!)

Even after all that punishment, the chicken was utterly delicious: tender, juicy, flavorful, the works. But to be honest, it's probably not going to usurp my beloved Crock-Pot as a means for cooking whole chickens. It just takes too long, even if you do have a meat thermometer.

Rating: smiley face using disembodied yellow hands to tap a wristwatch. Scary!


AE said...

I don't have a meat thermometer either, but I made prime rib the other night anyway. In your face, "Saveur"!

I've never made beer can chicken. The Novelty Factor to me is offset by the Raw Chicken Factor. An entire raw chicken scares me too... so many germs flying around, so many hidden opportunities for rawness. (I still have nightmares about last year's Thanksgiving turkey.)

Anyway, I salute your courage.

AE said...

Did you and WaiterRant have a falling-out?

gerard said...

Raw chicken fear is overrated.

I've slowly built up an immunity to salmonella by eating small amounts of raw chicken every day for the last 4 years. Now, I can just de-feather and go!

Kelly said...

Hmm, I didn't realize Waiter had started updating his blog again. I wish I could say this is good news, but since it probably means his writing career hasn't worked out, I feel kind of bad. Anyway, he's in my RSS reader and back on my blogroll.

Gerard, remind me to never accept a dinner invitation from you.