I was flipping through some of my past book club books, looking for ideas for this post. I knew I wanted to write about something that would be great for a Sunday afternoon meal. As fantasy football players, my husband and I look forward to Sundays so we can cheer our teams onto victory while watching NFL games all day long. Unfortunately, “keyboard neckties” (my team) did not get a win the first week. While Garret’s team (whose team name I don’t think would be appropriate to write here!), dominated. Did I mention we played each other the first week? I finished up the fantasy season with possibly my worst record ever–Terrible coaching this year! There’s always next year I guess.
One great football Sunday meal that I still make, even though the season is over is roast chicken. It’s perfect for a cold winter day. I was inspired to make this comforting dish after reading Mitch Albom’s Five People you Meet in Heaven. In the book, Eddie is aging and feels his life is unimportant, but he’s given insights by the 5 people he meets in Heaven that prove otherwise.
Eddie’s life contains many disappointments, but also a few joys. One of those joys is when he meets his young bride, Marguerite. They marry right before his 17th birthday on Christmas Eve, following his return from the war. He uses the little money he has to buy a dinner of roasted chicken with Chinese vegetables.
Using the grill to roast chicken is my favorite method of cooking it (it gets crispy on the outside, yet still juicy in the inside). I always use my “beer can chicken” contraption (basically a metal stand with a ring that holds a beer can) and shove the bird right over the can. If you are like me and tend to overcook chicken, this is the perfect recipe for you. You can’t go wrong. The beer steaming into the chicken’s crevice as it’s roasting on a grill, keeps everything moist. If you don’t want to use beer, fruit juice is an alternative. I rely on my meat thermometer to tell me when it’s done (usually between 90-120 minutes depending on how many you are cooking (90 min for one and 120 min for two).
How to Make Beer Can Chicken
- Clean a roaster chicken (remove innards)
- Coat the chicken with chicken seasoning* (I usually use a poultry blend. You can find this at any grocery store.)
- Pour ¼ of the contents of the beer out of the can. Puncture the lid with a few extra holes for better steaming.
- Place the can in the center of the beer can chicken contraption. (if you do not have the beer can chicken contraption, skip this step, but be extra careful placing the chicken over the can on the next step. You want to make sure it is well-balanced.)
- Put the chicken over the beer can, pulling it snugly through the crevice of the chicken. Use the chicken’s legs to balance it over the can, if you do not have a beer can chicken contraption.
- Put the meat thermometer in the deepest part of the chicken.
- On a grill with 3 grates, place the chicken on the center rack of the grill.
- Turn the back burner and the front burner on, and heat until the temperature inside the grill reaches 350-375 degrees.**
- Cook for 90-120 minutes, or until the internal meat temperature reaches 170 degrees.
**If you only have a grill with 2 burners, use just one burner, and put the chicken over the burner that is not in use. Make sure to turn the chicken 180 degrees, halfway through cooking.