Beer-Infused Chicken

    Beer-Infused Chicken

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    Southern Beer Can Chicken Recipe

    Whatever you call it — Beer Butt Chicken, Beer Can Chicken or Southern Drunk Chicken — this cooking method creates a moist and memorable meal.

    Fire up the grill, pop a beer and give it to the chicken . . .

    No, we are not actually giving beer to a live chicken, but we are going to stick a can of beer where the sun don’t shine. For this recipe you place a whole chicken on a can of beer, put it on the grill and cook it until it’s done. The bird will end up moist, infused with the flavors from the beer, and the skin will be thin and crispy from the malt and yeast of the beer.

    My family and I have been making Southern Drunk Chicken for as long as I can remember, and fall is my favorite time to grill this meal. Standing before a hot grill is actually a pleasure in the fall.

    The beer you choose can make a difference in the flavor of the chicken. The best advice I can give is don’t use a beer you wouldn’t drink and steer clear of dark, stout or bitter beer. If you do not like the flavor of beer you can certainly use a can of Coke or Dr. Pepper for similar cooking results. Adding any source of moisture to the chicken while grilling it keeps it from drying out; the meat will be juicy and the skin will become more of a thin crust.

    For this recipe I suggest using a charcoal grill. You can use a propane grill, or even cook it in the oven, but for the absolute best flavor, break out the charcoal. Lather the chicken with oil, inside and out, and then thoroughly massage the paste all over the chicken. Before you insert the beer can into the cavity of the chicken, make sure it is only half full with beer. It will make it easier to transport and it will deter a situation of boiling beer putting your coals out.

    Staying true to my Southern roots, I prefer my Drunk Chicken served with cole slaw and corn on the cob. This meal can be messy, but gathered around a table outside with friends and family is the best way to enjoy this dish on a beautiful coastal fall day. Don’t forget to pop the top of your favorite beer to wash it all down. Enjoy!

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    Southern Drunk Chicken
    Whatever you call it — Beer Butt Chicken, Beer Can Chicken or Southern Drunk Chicken — this cooking method creates a moist and memorable meal.
    Southern Beer Can Chicken Recipe
    Course Main Dish
    Cuisine American
    Servings
    people
    Course Main Dish
    Cuisine American
    Servings
    people
    Southern Beer Can Chicken Recipe
    Instructions
    1. Make a paste by mixing all ingredients (except chicken, oil and beer) together in a small bowl.
    2. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Remove giblets. Pour the oil all over the chicken (both inside and out), making sure to get it under skin wherever possible. Then add the paste in the same manner as the oil, rubbing it in thoroughly.
    3. Prep the charcoal grill for indirect cooking at medium heat (approximately 350° F degrees). Place a drip pan underneath the area where the chicken will be placed. Insert the can of beer into the chicken so it sits with legs down and wings up. Tuck the wing tips back to prevent excessive burning.
    4. Place the chicken on the cooking grate, allowing it to stand straight up using beer and ends of legs to form a tripod. Cover the grill and cook for approximately 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F degrees (if you don't have a thermometer, poke a thigh and if the juices run clear, you are done.) If the skin is getting too crispy, place a tin foil tent on the deeply cooked areas. Rotate the chicken every 15 to 20 minutes during cook time. Keep covered otherwise.
    5. Use heavy oven mitts to remove the chicken from the grill, and be careful removing the beer can so not to spill the boiling beer. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
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    Growing up in a small town in the foothills of North Carolina, Sandi always dreamed of living on the coast. In her youth, she was always by the water; she was raised tending a big garden and stomping around in the creek. She spent her adolescent days on a Jet Ski or fishing on Lake James, N.C., and she and her friends would camp and hike the Linville Gorge. Attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte she felt like she was getting out of my small-town box and living the city life; at the same time, she was getting a little closer to the ocean. Moving to Wilmington has been a dream come true, and the life she has created has been a blessing. She enjoys kayaking the Cape Fear, fishing the shores of Carolina Beach, and picking up seashells and shark’s teeth wherever she is. At home, she loves to cook and play with her dogs in the backyard. She also enjoys DIY home improvement endeavors. No outdoor shower, fire pit or flower bed is too big of a job! Being a part of the North Brunswick Magazine and South Brunswick Magazine team has taught Sandi that you really can enjoy your career.

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