This is a unique (and uniquely delicious) recipe. We’d never heard of roasting beer can chicken in the home oven. It always seemed like something perfect for a bbq, but bringing the technique indoors turns out to be sheer genius. Another great tip: Adding the glaze at the end, at a very high temperature, makes all the difference. Instead of getting a charcoal bird, you get a richly succulent glaze with none of the risk. This recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is perfect for a weekend afternoon when you have a little more time to spend roasting the bird.
Chicken Place the chicken breast-side down to the countertop. Use the tip of a sharp knife to make 1″ incisions below each thigh and breast, along the back of the chicken. Using your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the thighs and breast. Flip the bird over and use a metal skewer to poke 15 to 20 holes in the fat deposits on top of the breasts and thighs. Tuck the wings behind the back. (See the photo).
Mix the salt, baking powder and pepper in a small bowl. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it evenly with the salt mixture. Rub it in with your hands, coating the entire surface evenly. Put the chicken breast-side up on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, put an oven rack on the lowest position (remove the other rack for clearance) and preheat the oven to 325.
Open a beer can and pour out (into a drinking glass) half the beer. This has to be a 16oz can because a smaller can won’t support the chicken weight. Spray the can lightly with vegetable oil spray and put in the middle of a roasting pan. Slide the chicken over the can so the drumsticks reach to the bottom of the can, and the chicken stands upright.
Roast until the chicken starts to turn golden and the thickest part of the breast registers 140 degrees – this takes about 75-90 minutes. (While the chicken roasts, start making the glaze.) Carefully remove the chicken and pan from the oven, and turn the oven up to 500.
The Glaze While the chicken cooks at 140, stir the corn starch and water together in a little bowl until there are no lumps. Set aside. Bring the remaining glaze ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to 3/4 cup – 6 to 8 minutes. Slow whisk the corn starch mixture into the glaze. Return to a simmer and cook for one minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Back to the Chicken When the oven reaches 500, pour 1 1/2 cups water into the bottom of the roasting pan and put it back in the oven. Roast until the entire chicken skin is brown and crisp, and the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165, and the thickest part of the thighs registers 175. About 25 to 30 minutes.
Check the chicken halfway through roasting. If the top is becoming too dark, drape some foil over the neck and wingtips. Brush the chicken with 1/4 cup of the glaze, and keep roasting until it’s brown and sticky – about 5 minutes. Carefully take the chicken out of the oven and put the chicken (still on the can), and put it on a cutting board. Brush with 1/4 cup more glaze. Let rest for 20 minutes.
While the chicken rests, strain the pan juices through a fine mesh strainer into a fat separator. Let the liquid settle for five minutes. Then whisk 1/2 cup of the juices into the remaining 1/4 cup glaze in the saucepan and set over low heat. Use a kitchen towel to carefully lift the chicken off the can and onto a platter. Carve the chicken. Serve, passing the sauce separately.
- 1 6-7 lb whole chicken (giblets discarded)
- 5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 16 oz beer can (full of beer)
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 T water
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 2 T dijon mustard
- 1 tsp pepper