Friday, October 22, 2010

Beer-Can Chicken

When we saw the recipe for Grilled Spice-Rubbed Beer-Can Chicken by Melissa Clark (NYT, 7/21/10), we had to try it.  We've always been intrigued by the dish after hearing others speak of it and saw this as our omen. It was time for our first effort. 

There was just one problem.  As Melissa Clark inferred in the story, it might be a little problematic to use our small scale grill as opposed a gas grill, which is easier to control the temperature and heat.  

We searched on the internet for others' experience and decided to try the recipe in the oven.  

Choosing the beer was an important step as we realized that all of the beer that we drink comes in a bottle.  Our search for the canned variety led us to one with the irresistible moniker of Porkslap Pale Ale. While prepping the bird, Hiroko treated herself to half of the beer, leaving the balance, as called for in the recipe, in the can to function as the "seat" on which the chicken "sits" upright.  She slathered the chicken with mayo-curry mixture and popped it in the oven at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. She then reduced the heat to 350 degrees F, and added an assortment of vegetables to the pan to cook for about 45 minutes.  As the whole house began to smell like curry, we opened another beer while we waited for the chicken to be done. 

When we removed the chicken from the oven, it was a beautiful carmel shade with perfectly crispy skin enveloping the moist, juicy meat inside.  

We found the breast to be noticeably moister than with our regular roast chicken cooked in "prone" resting position.  

As proprietors of NYC's only sake shop, we had to try pairing the dish with sake.  Since the dish is a bit spicy and full flavored, we paired it with Yuho Junmai, a premiuim sake from Ishikawa Prefecture.  Yuho has a full-bodied richness with hint of sweetness, that complimented the curry spice. The sake also went well with our side dishes of roasted potatoes and green been salad. 

Our first beer-can chicken experience was so delicious, it had us asking ourselves the age-old question, "what took us so long?!!"