Steven Raichlen's Beer-Can Chicken
tells everything one should ever need to know about roasting a chicken upright on top of a can of beer. For those who find that premise strange or silly (Raichlen, in fact, thanks his publisher for being "wacky enough" to produce the book), the author describes beer-can chicken as "the perfect bird, crackly crisp, succulent within ... the most flavorful chicken you've ever tasted."
Raichlen's goal is to encourage grillers to have fun and use their imagination, and he presents 74 "offbeat recipes" as starting points. Notable selections include Beer-Can Turkey, which requires a giant 32-ounce can of Foster's to do the job; Welder's Chicken, a stewing hen wrapped in aluminum foil and turned with welder's gloves; Dirty Steaks, cooked right on the coals; and Diabolical Chicken, soaked with spicy French mustard and which Raichlen makes "whenever I'm short on time or fancy ingredients but want to impress the hell out of my guests." There are also recipes for "beerless birds" (Ginger Ale Chicken, Black Cherry Soda Chicken), side dishes, and desserts, as well as info on grilling techniques and equipment.
A chicken straddling a beer can, at the very least, makes a great conversation piece at an outdoor beer bash. Raichlen's most helpful hint? Make sure the beer can is open before putting it on the grill. --Andy Boynton
From Publishers Weekly
After such all-encompassing efforts as The Barbecue! Bible and How to Grill, Raichlen turns his attention to a single and hilarious style of preparation, one based on an inspired theory: if there is anything a guy loves more than his grill, his brew and his gadgets, it is the opportunity to combine the three into a succulent main course. The basic technique is simplicity itself, boosted by just enough schoolboy rudeness to make it irresistible. Take one whole chicken, insert half a can of a favorite beer into its cavity, then prop it up on the BBQ. The can, in combination with the drumsticks, forms a tripod that keeps the bird upright, allowing the skin to achieve a fine crispness even as the internal steamer flavors the bird and eliminates the need for basting. A cornucopia of rubs, marinades, and beer-can fillers provides for more recipe variations than one would sanely care to attempt (massage the chicken in dill, sugar, garlic and mustard, pour a little Scandinavian liquor in with the ale and, voilØ, Chicken Aquavit). For teetotalers, there are sauces made from cola, ginger ale, peach nectar or lemonade, each with the appropriate can of soft drink inserted into its awaiting fowl. He does include some recipes that might be better in theory than practice, such as the Quail on a Throne, which involves small cans of prune juice and a Cinnamon-Prune sauce. Subtle safety tips are proffered (Never grill a bird on an unopened can!).
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