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Chef's notes:

Whoever thought up the idea of roasting a chicken over a beer can was very, very smart. It is probably one of the best ways to cook chicken. The beer steams the chicken from the inside while the outside stays crispy in the relatively dry heat of the oven. The chicken cooks more quickly and efficiently. And so long as you don’t overcook the chicken, it will be moist and flavorful. Overcooking the chicken will be harder to do with a beer can shoved in its backside. But make sure you monitor the internal temperature as it cooks, to be certain.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 can beer
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes

Farm Fresh Chicken Roasted on a Beer Can and Served with a Quick Tomato Sauce

  1. Pick up some chicken and beer for the beer-can chicken recipe. You only need about 6 ounces, or roughly half of a 12-ounce can of beer, to put in the chicken. If you don’t have a can of beer, use one of those metal cans that canned goods come in. Make sure to clean it and remove any glue before using it in this recipe. Use a light beer for the recipe.
  2. Get the roasting pan ready for the chicken. I use a nine-inch frying pan for this recipe. The chicken fits inside it perfectly when stood on its end. Spray the bottom of the pan with a little bit of oil and then lay the onion slices in the bottom around the beer can in the middle. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and get the chicken ready to roast.
  3. Roast the chicken on top of the beer can. Rinse the chicken under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. Chop the herbs, mix them with the salt, and rub the mixture over the entire chicken, inside and out. Place the chicken on top of the can and in the pan. Spread the legs to balance the chicken in the pan. Place in the preheated oven on the bottom rack and roast for 45 minutes.
  4. Finish roasting the beer-can chicken. After 45 minutes, rotate the pan 180 degrees and turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. This five-pound chicken was 160 degrees F after the second 45 minutes of cooking. But use a digital thermometer and monitor the temperature during the last 20 minutes of cooking, to make sure that your chicken is done and safe to eat. Check the temperature at the thigh joint; it should be 160 degrees F to be safe.
  5. Make the pan sauce for the chicken. When the chicken is done, remove it to a cutting board to rest for 15-20 minutes before you cut it up and eat it. Add 2 cups of canned diced tomatoes to the roasting pan and mix with the onions and pan juices. Warm up and adjust the salt and pepper levels until it tastes good—which should be pretty easy. Add some herbs for more flavor, if needed.

Tips & Tricks

  • Burn the label glue off the can by putting the can in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes before you use it for the recipe.
  • Make sure to season the inside of the chicken as well as the outside.
  • A lighter beer will work just fine for this recipe.
  • Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before you cut into it.