Roast Chicken Project #9 - Beer Can Roasted Chicken
Potatoes get crisp and tender. Brussels sprouts get caramelized. Peppers get buttery.
Chicken gets roasted on a beer bidet.
I mean, can we all agree that's what's happening here? I can't really think of another way to describe it.
Regardless of how you want to explain this particular roasting method, the real truth is that something wonderful happens when you perch a spice rubbed chicken on an open can of beer. And not even expensive beer! Just whatever you would serve when you have too many people coming over. But what amounts to basically steaming a chicken from the inside leaves you with perfectly moist, falling apart meat and a crispy skin with a fiery kick that caramelizes a bit from the sugar in the spice mix. OH YEAH.
And when I say tender, I mean tender. This was without a doubt the easiest chicken to carve yet, and my chef's knife is getting dangerously dull. But I basically pulled the legs right off the chicken after it had roasted, the meat was so perfectly cooked! I will say it was difficult to carve in terms of logistics though, since I couldn't pull the beer can out and I had to sort of carve around it. But that little hiccup was worth it for the final result.
You do probably need some specialty equipment if you want to do this in the oven instead of the grill (where I've usually seen this method done), namely a sturdy roasting pan, because you want to be able to have a big enough surface to set the chicken and the can on, and not worry about any juices dripping out into the oven. I'd be hesitant to use a cast iron pan here, as I'm not sure there would really be enough surface area to "catch" the chicken if it were to fall over. Also, make sure your oven is tall enough; I had to remove a rack and roast this guy on the very bottom level, and even then the top was pretty close to the broiler coils.
Can we talk about the vegetables though? I knew I wanted to serve this with a pile of veggies, and so I took a cue from last month's chicken and just threw them all in the roasting pan with the chicken, right in the path of all that rendering chicken fat. And oh.my.god. The fat mixed with the leftover spices in the bottom of the pan and coated those veggies in a glorious sauce that caramelized and crisped them into a pile of roasted heaven. I may be even more in love with the veggies than the chicken, but you can't really get the former without the latter, so we can all have have both!
The burnished colors of the final dish just scream autumn to me, and if I lived in a place where it was getting colder, I'd throw this all in the oven and let my house get cozy while the hot beer did it's work.
Oven Beer Can Roasted Chicken
With Roasted Veggies
Adapted from Sam Sifton
- 1 whole, 4 lb chicken
- 2 tbs smoked paprika
- 2 tbs chili powder
- 1 tbs cumin
- 1 /2 tbs ground coriander
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tbs granulated sugar
- 1 tbs black pepper
- 1 tbs kosher salt
- 1 tbs red pepper flakes
- 1 can beer, such as Tecate or Budweiser, something yellow and mild tasting
- 1.5 pounds baby fingerling potatoes, multiple varieties if you can find them, halved lengthwise
- 1.5 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 lbs sweet mini peppers, whole
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine all ingredients except beer. Pat chicken dry and rub all over with the spice mixture.
- Pour out or drink half the beer and place the can in the bottom of a heavy roasting pan. Lower the chicken onto the can and make sure it can stand upright.
- Layer all of the veggies in the bottom of the pan surrounding the chicken and toss with a little olive oil, being careful not to disturb the chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the chicken on the lowest rack of the oven for about 75 minutes, or until the legs are loose and breast meat reads 165 degrees with an instant thermometer. Stir veggies every so often to coat with rendered chicken juices. Tent the chicken with foil halfway through if it seems to be getting too dark.
- When chicken is done roasting, gently remove from beer can and let rest for at least 15 minutes, then carve and serve with the roasted veggies.