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The champion of chickens

June 29th, 2012 No Comments

The beer can chicken champion

In the south we grill a lot, hence of all my grilling and marinade recipes.  Beer can chicken is hands down my favorite preparation for chicken.  Recently we were referred to Adam Perry Lang’s book Serious Barbecue for more great recipes.  We all admit, his preparation for the classic Beer Can Chicken takes our favorite to a new level.

Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list or process.  It’s super simple, especially if you’re all hanging around chatting.

The Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup canola oil (or melted coconut oil if you want to be healthy)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tblspn Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tblspn Japanese soy sauce
  • 1 Tblspn cider vinegar
  • 1 Tblspn yellow mustard
  • 1 Tblspn firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tblspn fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tblspn kosher salt
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 medium sweet onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 serrano, Thai bird, or other hot chilli sliced with the seeds removed

Enough for 3 chickens.  I save what I don’t use in a jar in the fridge.  It keeps for a while!

The Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade (I use apricot jam)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tblspn cider vinegar
  • 1 Tblspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tblspn coarsely chopped chives
  • 1 Tblspn coarsely chopped parsley

Other stuff you need:

  • 2 12 oz beer cans
  • Large Zip Lock bags
  • 1/2 bunch thyme and 1/2 bunch of marjoram tied in a bundle
  • 8 Tblspn unsalted butter
  • Fleur de sel (optional)

Finishing dressing (the ultimate finishing touch):

  • 1 Tblspn finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tblspn finely chopped chives
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup EVOO


  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.
  2. Take the crap out of the inside of the chicken, rinse, and put into a large zip lock bag.
  3. Pour marinade over chicken and seal, pressing out all of the air.  Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  4. Pre-heat bbq (even better a Green Egg!) with drip pan/deflector plate and fruit-wood (like apple) to 300 degrees.
  5. Place all glaze ingredients in jar and shake to combine.
  6. Remove chickens from bags and let marinade stay in bag.  Pat chicken dry lightly with a paper towel.
  7. Put chickens on top of empty cans.
  8. Place chickens in cooker basting occasionally with herb bundle dipped in butter.
  9. Cook until internal temperature of thigh is 165, and breast is 155.  It will take 45 min to 1 hr 15 min.
  10. Give the glaze a quick shake and then using the herb brush, brush the chicken with the glaze.
  11. Put the bird back in the cooker and cook until internal temp is 175 for the thigh and 165 for the breast.  About 15 to 20 min.
  12. Remove the chicken and let it rest upright for 30 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, combine parsley and chives in a small bowl, zest in the lemon and squeeze in all of its juices.  Add EVOO. Pour this onto your cutting board or work surface.
  14. Place chicken on board and cut it into quarters.
  15. Sprinkle with Fleur de sel.
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