I received a cryptic message the other day from one of my readers regarding good rub mixes for beer can chicken. At least I think that was what he was getting at; as I said, the message was a bit cryptic. At any rate, it should be no secret that I am not a fan of wasting beer (good or otherwise) by sticking a can of it in a chicken on the grill. Nor have I been very impressed with most iterations of beer can chicken that I’ve had in the past, regardless of who cooked them.
Now that I’ve pissed off all those folks that swear by their beer can chicken, let me explain. Better yet, let me introduce you to spatchcocked chicken, smoked properly, well-seasoned, with crispy skin on the outside, and moist and juicy meat on the inside.
Spatchcocking is essentially the process of cutting out the backbone of the chicken and butterflying it. Seasoning is then applied to both the skin and the what used to be the inside of the chicken. In this case, fresh ground black pepper, granulated garlic, thyme, sage, and rosemary were the spices of choice. Once seasoned, the chicken goes on a 325-375°F grill, indirect and skin side up until the skin has turned a deep brown and has begun to crisp up. At this point, turn the chicken over and let it cook until done (165°F internal temperature at the deepest part of the breast). Remove it immediately, carve, and serve.
If you still insist on having beer with your chicken, do what I do. Buy some good beer (not the cheap stuff) in a bottle (or a keg, if that’s how you roll), or even a can (as long as it’s Guinness in those special cans they have) and drink it with your dinner. If you make your own home-brew, even better.
But whatever you decide, just say no to wasting beer by sticking it up a chicken’s butt…