One of the things I like most about my dad is that later in life, he’s started to love cooking! He has always loved to grill. Aside from fried egg sandwiches, it’s pretty much the only way I remember him cooking when I was a kid. But, he’s become a much more well-rounded cook in recent years! He calls me quite often for cooking advice, and he’s always telling me about awesome meals he’s made for my mom.
The two of us make Thanksgiving dinner an epic event, involving weeks of planning, shopping, phone calls and novel-length emails. Here we are, making a huge mess of the kitchen while hosting our first-ever Thanksgiving dinner a few years back. I mean seriously, I think every inch of counter space is covered in something. Perhaps, we’re not all that great at cleaning up after ourselves:
And yes, I’m aware that this is just beer-can chicken. I really don’t know why I tried to get all fancy and name it something else. Maybe because I used a local Michigan microbrew (Atwater Brewery Dirty Blonde) instead of like, a Coors Light or something. But seriously, it’s beer-can chicken. Plus vegetables. Drunken vegetables.
- 1 whole frying chicken (about 3 pounds)
- 1/2 can of beer (drink the other half)
- Vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 zucchini and/or summer squashes, cut lengthwise in half, and then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 white onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
- The night before you want to eat the chicken, take the chicken out of it’s packaging and pat it dry with paper towel. Set it on a rack (I use a cookie cooling rack) set over a baking sheet, and put it in the fridge, uncovered. This will allow the skin to get dried out, which will mean extra-crispy chicken skin when it’s finished cooking.
- Preheat your grill for indirect grilling – heat half of the grill over medium-high heat, and leave the other half of the burners turned off. Place the beer can in a cast iron skillet. Place the chicken cavity over beer can, and use the chicken legs to form a tripod with the can, so the chicken balances upright. Lightly brush the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Transfer skillet with chicken to the indirectly heated side of the grill. Cover grill and cook for 30 minutes. DO NOT OPEN GRILL DURING THIS TIME. After 30 minutes, quickly (!!) open grill and add vegetables to skillet. Shut the grill and cook for 40 more minutes. Using a probe thermometer, check temperature of chicken in thickest part of leg – you’re looking for it to just reach 165 degrees F. If chicken is not yet up to temperature, cover grill and continue cooking. Check temperature every 15 minutes until 165 degrees F is reached.
- Remove skillet from grill and let stand 10 minutes before carving chicken. Use tongs and oven mitts when you’re taking the chicken off of the beer can – everything, including the remaining beer, will still be piping hot. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to serving bowl. Carve chicken and serve immediately.