I suppose it’s no surprise that guys love this dish… it involves lots of manly protein and is all about the beer, and it’s called a boozy bird *rolls eyes*.
Now, before we go any further, you need to solemnly swear NEVER to support the major rip-off going on in supermarkets and liquor stores everywhere. Don’t you dare spend a single cent on these ridiculous overpriced beer chicken thingamagadgets, I don’t care how pretty the picture on the box looks;
all you need is a nice plump whole chicken, a can of beer and a bit of seasoning. Duh. You don’t need a special rack or a recipe book.
The theory is that the beer will start to boil and the resultant alcoholic steam starts to cook the bird from the inside while it gets nice and crispy all over the outside. Even better is that you get to see a chicken standing bolt upright inside your oven. The beer you use is entirely up to you, I’ve tried several without really being able to tell the difference. Interestingly, my parents’ dog practically inhaled the carcass of the Amstel chicken but wouldn’t touch the Black Label one… boozy border collie?
So, what you need to do is get a chicken. Not the kind with all its innards still in there, but a nicely trimmed and cleaned one. You will probably still need to get rid of excess fat – a pair of sharp scissors will do an admirable job. Make sure the neck isn’t covered with a flap of skin (big ew!). I’m not sure what would happen in reality but I imagine the beer steam building up and exploding the chicken in the oven.
Anyway, you now have the chicken. Give it a rub with a little olive oil, then a thorough massage with your favourite chicken seasoning. I ring the changes but quite like a bit of curry spices with salt. I once used cinnamon instead of cumin by accident, and it turned out delicious anyway. Like a cross between KFC and a hot cross bun, but in a good way.
Next, get a manly man to open the beer and take one sip (one sip! watch him carefully). You can do this part yourself too, by the way. Belch for good measure. You could stick a few halved chillies and garlic cloves into the beer at this point, just make sure the can is not too full because we don’t want it to boil over.
Now for the really rude part. Place the can of beer in a roasting tin (I line the tin first, to make cleaning up less traumatic). Pick the chicken up under the wings, then firmly but gently impale it on the beer can. I know it seems indecent but the end result is worth it.
Then carefully place the whole lot in a 180 degrees Celsius oven for an hour; you could also add chunks of veggies to the roasting tin – they will roast away in a divine chickeny beery gravy.
When the bird is done, very very carefully remove the contraption from the oven. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes. Then very carefully slide the bird off the beer can – be careful not to tip the can over. Lay the bird down in the juices in the roasting tin, and using an oven-glove, remove the piping hot beer can and put it aside to cool before you throw it out.
Carve the chicken and turn the pieces over in its own yummy alcoholic juices before serving.
If you’re serving this up to people who are new to boozy birds, carry the whole thing to the table and carve it up there. Get creative – I did a cupid chicken once with little tiny bow and arrows, and in absence of a head a large bunch of rosemary. You could do two together, one for now and one for sandwiches. You can even get ceramic chicken heads!
I dish this up (the chicken, not Donatella and co.) with roast veggies and the most divine cheesy souffle in the whole wide world (keep an eye out for it in a future post).
Since this is a boozy bird post, it would go down very well with a bit of Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding. As well as actual booze, of course – and its got to be a beer.