#12 Beer can chicken

Beer butt chicken may have origins stateside, but it was Jamie Oliver who really kick started the idea of oven style beer can chicken here in the UK. The lager adds flavour but its real beauty is keeping the moisture (constant steam) through a full roast. Alternatively – a can of cider would work equally well here. This is my version and includes just about any dry spice you can lay your hands on! It is easily adapted and you should experiment a little with the spices substituting those you may not have. All of my recipes have been tried and tested. All photos are my own.

Serves 4 

Ingredients
1 medium organic and sustainable chicken
1 half can of lager
1 heaped tablespoon of light muscovado sugar (alternatively dark if you have it)
1 teaspoon each of – ground cumin, ground coriander, yellow mustard powder, garam masala, turmeric, ground black pepper, fennel seeds
½ teaspoon of ground chilli powder.
3 tablespoons of olive oil
A good pinch of Maldon sea salt

To garnish
1 handful of chopped coriander
1 finely sliced red chilli
2 finely chopped spring onions
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Method
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Mix the dry ingredients in a small dish or cup with the olive oil and put this aside as you prepare the chicken. Add a little more oil if necessary.

Remove the packaging from the chicken and pour over the dry rub and oil mix. Cover the whole chicken with the rub including the underside, wings and legs.

Next, take the chicken and carefully place on top of the half can of lager (you do not want this full as it may become top heavy and spill or bubble over during cooking). Insert and cover the can with the chicken. The bird should sit heavy and remain stable whilst cooking. Sit the chicken in a high sided and wide oven tray (in case the chicken falls and beer spills – don’t worry if this happens)

Cook the chicken as per the packaging instructions.

Once cooked it is important to cover the bird with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. At this point you may choose to remove the beer can or leave for presentation.

Once rested serve with crusty bread, a Greek salad or as part of a full roast topped with the coriander, red chilli and spring onions. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.

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