Beer can chicken probably started out as a joke amongst mates, but it is a concept that really works, even if it still looks as a joke. I have cooked it on my barbecue a couple of times with different sized birds, and found that the smaller bird worked best. If cooking on a barbecue, you need one with a lid, otherwise you can do it in a large oven. I used a recipe from Ben O’Donoghue who recommended using the South African chimichurri rub.
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 2 tbsp basil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 shallots
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 120ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 free range chicken
- 1 can of beer (I used a 375ml VB can – not the best beer, but it does not need to be)
- 1 lemon
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- Prepare the chicken by cutting off excess fat at the neck, removing giblets and tucking the wings in.
- Rub the chicken all over with the chimichurri, rub over and under the skin and in the cavity.
- Push the quartered lemon up into the cavity.
- Open the beer can and take a big gulp. Place the can on a flat surface and fit the chicken on top. The chicken will balance fine sitting on the can.
- Fire up the barbecue, using all burners for a few minutes, then turn off the middle burners for indirect cooking. Although I found with my 4 burner I actually need to keep the middle two burners on very low to keep the temperature up at 160ºC.
- Place the chicken in the barbecue and cook for 1-1.5 hours. The chicken is cooked when the juices of the thigh run clear when pricked.
- Make sure everyone sees the hilarious picture of the chicken, then take it off the can to carve.