kelly said

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23 July 2006

BBQ Beer-Can Chicken on a Gas Grill (Cooks Illustrated)

BBQ Beer-Can Chicken on a Gas Grill

Makes 2 Chickens serving 4 to 6

STEP BY STEP

Flavor That's More Than Skin Deep

1. Use a church key can opener to punch holes in the top of the can; this will allow the maximum amount of steam to escape.

2. Loosen the skin on the breasts and thighs of the chicken by sliding your fingers between the skin and the meat.

3. Massage the spice mixture on the skin, under the skin, and inside the cavity.

4. Using a skewer, poke the skin all over to render as much fat as possible.

Look for chickens that weigh between 3 and 3 1/2 pounds; if they are significantly larger, you may have trouble fitting the lid on the grill. To hold the wood chips, you will need a small disposable aluminum tray.

Spice Rub

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon table salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Glaze

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons beer

1 teaspoon hot sauce

Beer and Chicken

2 (12-ounce) cans beer

4 crumbled bay leaves

2 whole chickens (3 to 3 1/2 pounds each), patted dry

4 cups wood chips

1. For the spice rub: Mix brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in bowl.

2. For the glaze: Stir brown sugar, ketchup, vinegar, beer, and hot sauce together in medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon spice rub.

3. For the rest: Measure out 1 cup beer from each can; take 2 tablespoons from measured beer and add to ketchup glaze. Prepare beer cans as shown in photo 1, and add 2 crumbled bay leaves to each can.

4. Prepare chickens as shown in photos 2 through 4.

5. Soak wood chips in bowl of water to cover for 15 minutes, then place chips in small aluminum tray and play tray directly on primary burner. Turn all burners to high and close lid, keeping grill covered until wood chips begin to smoke, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high, and turn off all other burners. Place chickens (on cans) on cool part of grill.

6. Cover and grill until skin is well browned and very crisp, 40 to 60 minutes. Brush with ketchup glaze and grill, covered, until thigh meat registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes longer. Wearing oven mitts or using wad of paper towels, transfer chickens (still on cans) from grill to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Hold base of can with oven mitt or wad of paper towels, insert tongs into neck cavity of chicken, and pull chicken off can. Carve and serve.