Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What's on the Grill #168

Cajun Rubbed & Smoked Guiness Bear Can Chicken

Cajun Rub and Smoked Guinness Beer Can Chicken! Bean is here for Spring Break, which is incredibly exciting. One of the topics for discussion we always have is what to grill. As I posed Bean this question the other night, he quickly came back with beer can chicken. Good choice, as it is a perennial fav around here. Now this kid is not your average frozen chicken strip kid. So, when I asked him what kind of rub he wanted, I knew I wouldn't get an answer like "just my shoulders". Nope, Bean answered, "cajun".

After an ever so slight double take, I asked Bean what was in his cajun rub. He didn't have an answer, so I turned him on to the never-ending Internet to find the answer.

After a quick primer on don't-stop-at-just-the-first-Google-search-result, Bean pulled up a rub recipe, and we were off.

Cajun Rub and Smoked Guinness Beer Can Chicken

Whole Chicken

Can of Guinness Beer

Cajun Rub (Found on the Interwebs by Bean, it makes about a cup and a half)

Wood Chips

Spice Man

1. Soak your wood chips in water. I again went to the most excellent wine infused chips from Green Leaf BBQ.

2. Prep your grill for indirect medium and ready a drip tray filled with water to place below the chicken.

3. Prep your chicken by rinsing it off under cold water and blotting it dry with paper towels.

4. Prep your Guinness Can by opening it and drinking about an eighth of it. Repeat and savor. With a church key, cut several openings in to the top of the can. With the top cut open, drop a few tablespoons of rub into the can.

Prepping the Can

5. Supply your chicken with a little Guinness of its own, by sliding your majestic bird on to its new beer throne. The Guinness can is tall, so chances are your bird, like ours, will be on its tippy toes. That's okay, because it's not you.

A PourA Sprinkle

6. With the bird seated, rub the outside of the chicken with oil (we used canola) and then cover with rub. Also, since any chance we get to anthropomorphize a chicken, we take, Bean had a little play too.

A little wing play

7. With the chicken ready, get the grill smoking by placing your wood chips on the hot coals. Close the lid. Once the grill starts to smoke, you are ready. Place your chicken on the grate, over the drip pan, and close the lid.

One issue here. Remember the tall Guinness can we talked about earlier? Well unfortunately, it's a little too tall for the lid to close. Thankfully, I have the rotisserie ring standing by for these unforeseen moments. With the ring in place, we had plenty of room to spare. If not, we would have to turn the can into a lazy-boy, and that wasn't in the cards.

Smoking Collar

8. Let the chicken cook for about an hour and fifteen minutes, remove, carve, and serve!

Putting them down

Bean & the tongs

The other neat part about this meal were the sides. I can probably count on one hand how many 11 year olds suggest having asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and steamed artichokes as dinner vegetables. Bless this angel.

Bean's idea

So, while I finished up the chicken, Bean worked the Summit and his asparagus. I think he is on to something. His cajun rub turned out great, and thanks to the obscenely large Guinness can, this chicken was one of the most moist beer can chickens I have had in a long time. Bean hit this one out of the park. Well done!


Bean will be back this week with some more meals, this is for certain!

We're done!


ellen said...

Great job, Bean!

Cynthia said...

Clearly I have not been following your blog long enough... who is the cutie Bean? :0

Cynthia said...

Okay, so I just went and read several of your posts with Bean - man he is good! You rock Bean!

Dave said...

A proper beer can chicken indeed. That's a neat trick with the rotisserie attachment. I have something similar (not as cool as a rotisserie addon), a Thunderbelly (warning! site with instant music playing).

Good to have an authoritative reference on the perennial favorite. I'll be making this soon.

Chris said...

Great post. This is one of my favorite blogs but I take issue with one thing in this post--

Did you take the widget out of the can first? Since it's made of plastic I would imagine it could release some harmful vapors when melted (it's probably polypropylene or polyethylene).

I suppose it wouldn't matter all that much if you didn't boil off all of the beer, but I don't pay that much attention to my chicken when I make it this way. If you want to use Guinness (or any other nitrogenated beer, like Beamish or Boddington's) for beer can chicken, I'd recommend taking the top off the can in step 4 and fishing out the widget.

For anyone who hasn't seen one, there's a picture of a widget here:


Mike said...

@Cythnia - Yes, that is my chip of the block...sorry for his luck!

@Dave - I've seen the Thunderbelly before online. Do you like it? Do you use it to smoke, or what's your application?

@Chris - Thanks so much and also, thanks for busting me! So funny you should mention the widget. When we were cutting the can, I thought about pulling it out because of just what you said, it's plastic.

I also thought about the science behind it as I explained to Bean how the nitro cans worked. Obviously a thought is all I gave it, because I left it in! So far no bad side effects...but you are right, it's better to pop it out than leave it in. It's the kind of decision you regret as you watch your new third arm grow out of your shoulder.

I figured someone would dime me out on it, good catch!

Dave said...

Here it is in action, I used it to cook about 20 lbs of pork shoulders. Don't use it much, but it's a reasonable substitute for a Weber Smokey Mountain. I'm not sure why I even bought it, was years ago.