I learned how to make this dish last summer, and ended up making it almost every Sunday, so we could eat from the leftovers for a few days. We were renovating our kitchen, and I decided I had to become friends with the grill, and at long last get over my fear of lighting it. That fear came from an unfortunate incident when I was about 14 years old and singed my eyebrows because I didn’t know you were supposed to leave the lid open when lighting it Now I know.
Anyway, I came across a recipe for beer-can chicken and then a variation known as wine-butt chicken, because the can goes in the chicken’s butt, don’tcha know? I’m not a beer drinker, so we do the wine version and it’s unbelievably easy and delicious. The steaming liquid from the can flavors and moistens the chicken from the inside out, and look how crispy the skin gets!
It’s also really cool that this recipe illustrates how to extend the use of the grill by using it as an oven.
Grilled Wine-butt Chicken
1 3.5-4 lb. chicken
1/2 cup non-oaky white wine (we usually use Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
1/4 cup fresh herbs of choice, chopped, plus a few sprigs (can be one herb, or a mixture – thyme and basil are favorites of ours)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 soda can, emptied and rinsed
1 8″x8″ aluminum pan
Light grill and turn burners to high; close lid. Carefully lift skin from chicken breast and insert chopped herbs between skin and meat. Fill can halfway with wine and put in herb sprigs and garlic. Insert can in chicken cavity and stand it up in the aluminum pan, with the can and the two legs acting as a tripod, so the chicken stands up. Tuck wing tips under.
Brush chicken all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken in pan on grill and close lid. One hour later, come back and check chicken’s temperature with an instant-read thermometer. It’s done when the thigh meat registers 165*F. Have a friend or loved one hold the chicken with tongs while you remove the can with another set of tongs, and put the chicken, breast side up, on a platter. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grill up some veggies to have with this incredibly moist and delicious chicken. Enjoy
This is my entry in this month’s Monthly Mingle food blogging event, begun by Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey? and hosted this month by Sig of Live to Eat. And here’s the roundup of all the recipes submitted for this event. I’ll definitely be trying some of these.