This is a good question – - if you stick a chicken on a cheap can of beer, stand it up in your gas grill and simply let it cook, would it make a “gourmet” entree for tonight’s dinner? With a little “tweaking” to that idea, I think so!
If a special blend of rub or marinade is allowed to permeate the freshest chicken available, and holes are punched all around the top and sides of a can of good beer so the bird steams gently as it cooks, the result could be the finest, truly “gourmet beer-can chicken”, if not the very best chicken dish ever! Chickens are raised near Boquete, so we get the freshest chickens delivered to our markets every day.
Just look at the golden brown, beautifully rich and shining color on my birds. The even coating of my special “Bella Poultry Herb” mix brings out the glistening juiciness and flavor of the meat. You can blend you own mix to suit your taste.
Here’s my recipe for Real Gourmet Beer-Can Chicken.
1 whole chicken, cleaned of fat
4 tablespoons your own special poultry herb blend (see my “Bella Poultry Herbs” recipe below)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
1 can of your favorite beer, mine is our local Panama beer
Clean, wash and dry the freshest chicken available, rub it inside and out with poultry herb blend and place in a plastic bag to marinate in the refrigerator all day, overnight would be fine. Open a can of beer and drink about 1/3 of it. Punch 6 wholes in the can around the top sides with a “church key” type opener. Drop the crushed garlic into the beer can. Place the chicken, open end down, over the can so that he sits up with his feet set to make a tripod. Set the chicken over medium heat on the top of a barbecue grill, gas or charcoal, close the cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the bird turns golden brown, 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Using large tongs, lift the bird off the grill while using a turner to support the beer can from the bottom. Rest 5 minutes. Hold the beer can with a hot pad and lift the chicken off his perch with tongs. Carve and serve.
This is how I blended the herbs for Bella Poultry Herbs
2 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons oregano
1 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Place these herbs in a mortar and mull with a pestle until the mix is a fine consistency, which may take several minutes. You could use a mini-food processor, but you’d miss the enjoyment of grinding it yourself. Keep your mix in a screw-cap bottle always ready for handy use.
If you or your guests want to get creative, have a wooden spoon and marker available for some artistic fun.
If you are a connoisseur or lover of good food, drink and good fun, this beautiful, luscious chicken is truly a gourmet’s delight.
I served these birds with a juicy potato salad and red Caprese-style tomatoes layered with mozzarella cheese slices and lots of big, fresh basil leaves, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. We enjoyed a bottle of Septima Vineyard Malbec-Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 wine from Argentina, which completed this delectable dinner with friends.
What a lovely evening!