Root Beer-Can Chicken

It was gorgeous outside today, so I asked Dino if he would mind firing up the grill. I picked out this recipe from the newest issue of Cooking Light, and it was awesome! It's a little tricky to get the can in the bird, and to remove it when you're done, but it's worth the hassle. I've had beer can chicken several times before, but root beer was a totally new idea to me. It was super juicy and delicious, and we loved every bite. I took the remaining root beer basting liquid and boiled and reduced it further to serve alongside the chicken. We also threw some green onions on the grill and served them with the meat. It was a great meal!

Root Beer-Can Chicken
Cooking Light June 2010

This is a family-friendly take on beer-can chicken in which we use an opened root beer can to support a whole bird on the grill. The liquid inside the can adds moisture, resulting in succulent, tender meat. Complete the meal with roasted red potatoes and a sweet-tart broccoli slaw.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast half or 1 leg quarter)

1 1/2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 (12-ounce) cans root beer, divided
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, skinned

1. Prepare grill for indirect grilling, heating one side to medium.

2. Combine first 7 ingredients and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

3. Open both root beer cans; pour 18 ounces into a small saucepan. Set remaining root beer aside (in the can). Bring 18 ounces root beer to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, butter, and vinegar, stirring until smooth.

4. Rub paprika mixture evenly over chicken. Holding chicken upright with the cavity facing down, insert reserved opened root beer can into cavity. Place chicken on unheated side of grill. Spread legs out to form a tripod to support the chicken. Cover and grill for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers 160°, basting chicken every 20 minutes with sauce.

5. Lift chicken slightly using tongs; place spatula under can. Carefully remove chicken and can from grill; place on a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes. Gently lift chicken using tongs or insulated rubber gloves; carefully twist can and remove from cavity. Discard can. Carve chicken.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 371
Fat: 15.1g (sat 6.2g,mono 5g,poly 2.4g)
Protein: 35.6g
Carbohydrate: 21.4g
Fiber: 0.2g
Cholesterol: 121mg
Iron: 1.9mg
Sodium: 502mg
Calcium: 32mg

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

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