Now is that any way to treat your bird? The answer, quite plainly, is yes, and the westie was probably thinking “better the bird than me” when MotH lifted her up for a good look. Beer can chicken or beer-in-the-butt chicken has always been a guy thing in my book – I can’t imagine a girl coming up with that light bulb moment, can you? – so it shouldn’t be hard to understand why I never felt the need to make birra nel culo al pollo or pollo con birra in culo (chicken with beer in the ass). Grill-savvy italians have already experimented with beer can methods in their own backyards, taking the standard grigliata to another level. Still, it took a little explaining upon presenting the idea to MotH who is not as adept in front of a Weber as he is in front of a computer. A good thing that he has me.
How is the chicken going to keep from falling down?
Well you gotta make it sit on a can!
But will the can fit?
Have you seen the open end of a chicken? It’s big enough.
But what if it falls down anyway?
That is why we set it on a tray. Trust me, the chicken is not going anywhere.
But why stop at just chicken when you can also go the whole mile and make arroz con cerveza (beer rice) and stout brownies? Again, Moth’s moment of disbelief. Beer in brownies? I even toyed with the idea of beer batter onion rings but reckoned that with the half full bottles (yes I’m an optimist!) lying around from each recipe, I’d end up drunk on the floor. Life in the chestnut forest can be beery beery good.
Tip on making beer rice: avoid using anything that tastes like a mix of beer and 7-up or lemonade. Well I didn’t know. MotH describes Desperados as something similiar to panaché or what’s also known as shandy. The grossest tasting thing, ever.
In my opinion, the chicken turned out a wee bit dry since I didn’t have a thermometer to let me know when it was done. Also, the grill cover had to be kept propped open since the chicken was sitting up high; I’ll need to trim the height of the can next time. And regarding poultry at the supermarket, I get the feeling that very large chickens, if available, are cut into sections and rarely sold whole. I’ve never seen a whole chicken (sans head) nearing 4 pounds in Italy, but maybe it’s because I look in the free-range section where chickens run about 3 pounds max.