Monday 13 October 2014

Jamie Oliver's Beer Butt Chicken from Jamie's America.

Has anyone stuck a can of beer up a chickens bottom before?

Yes a chook you buy from the grocery store, not a live one. I hope no one has ever or will ever do it to a poor live chicken. I'm talking about BBQ Beer-Butt Chicken.

I had friends over the other week and it was the perfect excuse to give this ago. I always think that a whole chicken cooking for just two people is a little extravagant so when we have people over I get a little excited and cook too much food. I know that people will disagree with that statement because there is SOOO much you can do with left over chicken but thats just how I feel... or we leave it for a special occasion like a Sunday dinner.

It was a warm night when we decided to have visitors so cooking the chicken outside on the BBQ was perfect because it meant the oven didn't have to go on for a long period of time and bake us all in our tiny apartment. I chose to use a recipe from Jamie's America Cookbook (yes by Jamie Oliver - my weakness). It was super simple and didn't make that much mess (in the kitchen that is). You make a spice rub in a mortar and pestle and rub it all over the chicken then drink half of the can of beer (not hard to do) then stick it up its bottom and place it on a preheated BBQ. Cook for one and a half hours and yum!

And this time I didn't serve raw chicken. It was well and truly cooked. But... we were so hungry by the time it came to eat I got no photo's of the cooked chicken, just of it as I placed it on the BBQ. Sorry folks but it just means I have to do it again to get you that lovely picture.

I was worried the chicken would have been a little over cooked because it stayed on the BBQ a little longer than is should have but it was still yum. I was told by our dinner guests and Tristan that it wasn't dry at all but maybe they were being polite :) I also made two salads to go with the chicken but if I start on them too in the post I might be half way to a novel so I will save them for next time.

The only thing with the chicken was... I thought the can of beer would be empty when we took the chook off the BBQ but it was still half full. My thinking was that the BBQ heats the beer and it boils and evaporates into the chicken as it cooks and in the end all the beer is gone but it wasn't. I have never made this until then so I could be completely wrong. The recipe says nothing about the can being empty or full after so no idea if I actually did it right but it still worked if you ask me.

Mmmm. Chicken. Good.

Jamie Oliver's Beer Butt Chicken from Jamie's America.

Serves 4

1 large whole chicken (about 1.5kg)
1x 473ml larger (I used a can of Stella)

Spice rub:
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
1 level tsp cumin seeds
1 level tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp brown sugar
1 level tsp mild chilli powder (I used 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper instead)
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

- Preheat your BBQ to 200 C or 400 F.

- In a mortar and pestle smash up the fennel and cumin seeds. Add the paprika, brown sugar, chilli powder, salt and pepper and give it a good mix. Finally stir in the olive oil, you should have a nice paste now. Drizzle and rub this all over the chicken, giving it a good massage.

- Open your can of beer. Drink and enjoy half of it. Place the chicken on top of the can so it looks like it's sitting on it (Can look a little rude about now) then place it on the BBQ hot plate.

- I used a gas BBQ (please forgive me Dj Bbq) and had the grill side turned on but had the chicken on the hot plate side so there wasn't direct heat straight underneath but heat all around it.

- Cook it for 1 hour and 30 minutes until the meat pulls away from the bone and the juices run clear. 

- Once cooked, remove the can from it's bottom with tongs. Be careful because it's very hot!

- Serve with salads or roast veggies. Enjoy!

I served this with Donna Hay's Potato Salad from Classics 1 and a Quinoa and Butternut squash Salad from It's all Good By Gwyneth Paltrow. 

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