It's Father's Day, your day off, but you won't relinquish control of the grill. Not this day, maybe not ever. No one tames the grill fires like you. You've seen far too many chickens tortured on the grill—black on the outside and raw in the middle.
But on this national day of rest for dads, you deserve to relax, kick back and still have moist, perfectly grilled chicken. You deserve The Culinary Institute of America's "Beer Can" Chicken. Combining two of your favorite things—grilling and beer—Beer Can Chicken delivers an incredibly succulent bird without all the fuss.
"Vertically roasting a chicken on the grill is not only simple but it makes perfect sense as a cooking method for a whole chicken," said CIA BBQ Boot Camp Chef David Kamen, "The dark meat of poultry requires a longer cooking time than the white meat. Vertical roasting brings the dark meat closer to the heat source and keeps the tender white meat slow-cooking away from the direct heat."
A beer can is just the right size and height for such a roasting method.
The seasoned whole chicken sits atop the half-full beer can with the legs set to balance the chicken on the grill. As the beer evaporates, it imparts a delicate flavor to the chicken and helps keep it moist. Using a beer can is traditional but a store-bought vertical roasting pan helps catch all the delicious juices that are released as the bird cooks providing you with a handy basting liquid.
The perfect accompaniment to beer can chicken? Beer, of course. CIA Professor Chef Mark Ainsworth suggests a more serious beer than the one your chicken is roasting on.
"Try a summer beer such as a Hefeweizen, or yeast wheat beer," said Ainsworth. "This is very refreshing, effervescent beer with great floral and yeast notes and should be poured into a Weizen glass which is very tall to contain the substantial head in the beer."
This and other great summertime recipes can be in The CIA's ultimate grilling cookbook, Grilling (2006, Lebhar-Friedman).