This is a great way to cook a whole chicken. My great friends, Linda and Joe Lange, made this tasty treat for dinner and it was fantastic. They got the recipe from CookSmart® and now I’m passing it on to you. The chicken is perfectly seasoned and it stays moist and tender due to the beer evaporating from the beer can during cooking.
There is one important safety message that I did not see in the provided recipe. During cooking the fat rendered from the chicken will ignite, burn and ruin the chicken if you fail to follow the directions exactly. Specifically, do not under any circumstances cook the chicken directly over a gas grill flame or directly over hot charcoal briquets. The area directly under and a few inches around the chicken must not be heated directly.
Ingredients: (three to four servings)
1 whole small 3½ to 4 lb. chicken
1 Tbsp. of kosher salt
2 tsp. of ground black pepper
2 tsp. of Italian Seasoning (see Food Nirvana recipe)
2 tsp. of paprika
2 tsp. of lemon zest from one large fresh lemon
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 can of dark beer like stout or ale
Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Reserve any giblets for a different use.
Use a "zester" to get the lemon zest from one large fresh lemon.
Mix the salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, lemon zest and garlic powder in a small bowl.
Pat the cavity and the exterior of the chicken evenly with the mixture, using all of it.
Let the chicken stand on a wire rack for one to two hours.
Preheat a gas grill to 400 degrees F, using all burners on high heat for at least ten minutes.
Open the can of beer and pour 1/3 of it into a glass. Drink that beer.
Turn off one of the gas grill burners but keep the grill cover closed.
Set the chicken’s leg cavity on the open beer can and place that on a wire rack to make later handling of the chicken easier after cooking.
Open the grill cover, and place the rack with the chicken and beer can on the gas grill over the extinguished burner area and close the lid.
Cook for 50 minutes to one hour and five minutes based on the size of the chicken.
You can check for doneness (170 degrees F) with a meat thermometer inserted into the leg/thigh area.
Turn off the gas grill and remove the chicken, beer can and rack.
Let the chicken rest for ten minutes.
Carve the chicken and serve it.