Beer-Butt Chicken

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People magazine dubbed Rick Browne “The Godfather of Beer-Butt Chicken,” but he humbly admits that he borrowed the technique from a barbecue contest competitor. However, Rick was the first in the country to publish the recipe and to prepare it on national television. When you try this fascinating, fun, and delicious way to cook a chicken, you’ll want to serve it again and again.

Equipment:

  • Porcelain coated grid
  • 1 (12-ounce) beer can or “Sittin’ Chicken” Ceramic Roaster
  • 9 by 13-inch Drip Pan, spray bottle
  • Set the EGG for direct cooking with the porcelain coated grid
  • Preheat the EGG to 375ºF

Ingredients:

  • Rub:
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried summer savory
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 (4 to 5-pound) chicken
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cooking Directions:

To make the rub, combine the brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, summer savory, cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, mustard, and salt in a small bowl. Stir until incorporated. Apply the rub all over the chicken, even inside the cavity. Work the mixture gently into the skin and under the skin wherever possible. Cover the chicken and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour half of the beer into the spray bottle. Add the apple cider, olive oil, and vinegar and set aside. If using the Ceramic Roaster, pour the remaining beer into the cavity of the Roaster and slide the chicken onto the Roaster, through the tail end. If using the beer can, slide the chicken down over the can.

Place the chicken, still on the Roaster, on the grid and close the lid of the EGG. Cook, using the spray bottle to baste the chicken once or twice, for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is just beginning to brown all over. Carefully lift the chicken (still on the Roaster) into the Drip Pan and close the lid of the EGG. Cook, spraying the chicken with the basting spray several times, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 170ºF and the chicken is a mahogany brown color. Using barbecue mitts, remove the chicken and present it on the Roaster to your guests. After they have reacted appropriately, remove the chicken from the Roaster. Be careful: The can and the liquid inside are very hot.

Spray the chicken once more with the basting spray, cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve and serve. Serves 4


—From Big Green Egg Cookbook/Andrews McMeel Publishing - Rick Browne