Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Barbecue in the Burbs!

We don't go to a lot of barbecues. Mostly because none of our city-dweller friends has a grill. They're hard to come by in NYC and are prohibited from use on most apartment balconies. Our grill pan suffices for burgers, steaks, etc but there's a whole culinary world of smoky, steamy, juicy barbecue that we miss out on. I was reminded of all the fatty, tender home-grilled meat that is missing from my life when we drove up to Evanston from Chicago on Sunday for a true backyard barbecue. There were the traditional accouterments: potato salad, cole slaw, beer, but the bbq star was Beer Can Chicken. A specialty of my brother's friend, and of my brother now too, it involves an easy rub and only a moderately long cooking time. Best of all, the bird sits upright on the grill with an open beer can stuffed in its, uh....hind quarters. A truly funny sight. The cooked meat is moist and delicious with a crispy, spicy skin. Tasty!

The recipe is very loosey goosey. More guidelines than a recipe, in fact. Enjoy!

The rub needs equal parts salt, pepper, and paprika, then you can add whatever you want. I put some garlic powder, curry powder, and chili powder in the mix on Sunday. Before you rub the chicken, you should trim the excess skin/fat around the opening between the legs. Then rub the chicken and open the cans, leaving it about 1/3 full of beer and sprinkle some of the rub in the can and around the cavity. Insert the can between the legs, then stand it on the grill at a medium/low heat. Drizzle the bird with olive oil, which gives it that crispy coating, and then let it cook for about 1.5 hours. Periodically check the grill to make sure that the drippings/oil has not caused any flare-ups (which will burn the bird if left unchecked). After 1.5 hours pull them off the grill, let sit for a few minutes to cool. Use tongs to pull can out of cavity. Carve. Eat!

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Good times. Whoever wrote that recipe is a genius.