Grilled Drunken Chicken
Drunken Chicken refers more to a method of cooking rather than a particular recipe. Any chicken dish prepared with an alcoholic drink such as wine, beer, or bourbon can be refered to as “drunken chicken”.
Above, is our grilled drunken chicken ready to carve and serve. We grill a whole chicken on the barbecue with the help of a support cage and a can of beer affectionately refered to as “Beer-Butt Chicken”.
The chicken cage, with beer can in place on an aluminum grilling sheet to catch the drippings. This wire chicken support cage is commonly available at any grilling shop or most hardware stores that have a barbecue section.
Pour out – or better still drink – about one third to half of the beer so it does not foam up while the chicken is grilling and make a mess.
The aluminum grill pan is used to catch the dripping, but also acts as a shield to produce a more indirect heat which helps to keep the skin from charring and produces a golden brown color.
Our chicken rubbed and ready for grilling.
Thoroughly wash the whole chicken in cold water, both inside the cavity and out. Then, apply your favorite chicken rub. Here is my recipe:
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp coarse ground sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle a liberal amount over the entire chicken. Rub into the skin with your fingers.
Mount the chicken upright on the wire cage over the beer can, with the cavity end down and place on a pre-heated grill. As it heats, the beer will steam through the chicken and keep it moist. I occasionally baste the chicken with melted butter to obtain a more golden colored shin, but this may be omitted.
Continue grilling the chicken until well done but watch carefully so as not to dry the meat out too much. Check with a thermometer to make sure the internal tempurature has reached 180 – 185 degrees. This will take about 1 to 1-1/2 hour for an average sized bird.
Baste with your favorite bbq sauce just before the chicken is done.
My Beer-Butt Chicken grilled and ready to serve. Notice I use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked.