While it might not be the most poetic of names, what it lacks in lyricism it makes up for in sheer unambiguity: beer butt chicken. Trust the Yanks to come up with such a fetching title.
If, by some chance, you’ve been living under a rock and only emerged a few days ago, we’ll explain: beer butt chicken is made by inserting a half full, opened can of beer into the cavity of a whole chicken before arranging the whole assemblage upright in a Weber and braaiing it until the chicken is crispy on the outside and deliciously moist and beer-flavoured on the inside.
All of this sounds easy if you’ve already tried it, but if you haven’t, we’ve come up with a few useful tips.
1. Take a good few glugs of the beer before lowering the chicken onto the can. You want to build up a good amount of steam inside of the can.
2. If possible, buy a long can of beer or otherwise invest in a beer butt chicken can holder. See, physics mean that unless the bird is perfectly balanced on the beer can it might want to topple over. Yuppiechef has quite a cool can holder.
3. Try to go for a free-range chicken. It’s not every day you braai a beer butt chicken, now is it? You might as well go the whole… chicken.
4. Don’t skimp on seasoning. Whether it’s a spicy peri-peri rub or plain old salt and pepper with a bit of sage butter underneath the skin, a little flavour goes a long way.
5. Before braaiing, arrange the coals in a circle below the periphery of the chicken instead of in a heap directly underneath it. This way the heat radiates around the bird instead of directly grilling it. This one comes courtesy of Jamie Oliver.
6. When the chicken is cooked, be careful not to burn your hands when removing the boiling hot can of beer from the chicken. You might want to ask a friend or significant other to step in at this stage and hold the can, while you carefully remove the chicken.