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Beer-Can Chicken is a Summer Braai Must-Have. Here’s How to Make it

Lentswe Bhengu

There’s nothing quite like a succulent bird as the centrepiece of your braai or get-together. And Chef Lenny B knows how to make a spicy beer-can chicken that will *definitely* be a hit. Here’s how to make it.

Chicken is tasty, versatile and budget-friendly meat. Not only that, but skinless chicken is a great option for the health-conscious or those who need to reduce their intake of saturated fat. It can be prepared in a wide variety of ways – from fried to braaied – but when it comes to entertaining, beer-can chicken is my go-to crowd-pleaser.

 

Adding beer helps to keep the bird moist while it’s cooking for some seriously mouthwatering meat. Hungry? Here’s how to prepare a beer-can chicken at home.

 

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Beer-Can Chicken / Serves 4 (plus leftovers!)

 

Ingredients

1 x 1 or 1.2 kg whole chicken, giblets removed

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

500 ml can of Castle Free

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon peri-peri (hot) or cayenne pepper (spicy) or paprika (mild)

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 teaspoon dried parsley

 

How To Make It

1. Open the oven and set the rack to the lowest p setting. Preheat the oven to 190°C with both the bottom and top elements and, if possible, the fan, on. Use the oil to coat the whole chicken so the spices have something to stick to.

 

2. Combine onion, garlic, your choice of spice, coriander, salt, black pepper and dried parsley in a bowl and mix into a spice blend. Coat the chicken in the blend, making sure to get some underneath the skin, too.

 

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3. Use a tin opener to completely remove the top of the beer can like you would a can of beans. (Pour half the beer into a glass and enjoy!) Grab each leg of the chicken with each of your hands and engulf the beer can with the cavity of the chicken. Be careful not to tip the can over.

 

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4. Place a drip tray right at the bottom of the oven, below the oven rack. Put the chicken and beer on top of the oven rack, above the drip tray. This might not be possible if the gap between the oven rack rods is wide. If that’s the case, place the chicken directly on top of the drip tray.

 

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5. Close the oven door and let the chicken cook for 70 to 80 minutes. Rotate the bird 45° every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. You will know the chicken is done when the internal temperature of the thigh is 75°C or if you poke it at the thigh and the juices run clear. Once cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Carve and enjoy hot!

 

Love Your Leftovers

Don't know what to do with your leftover beer-can chicken? Here are some ideas:

 

Cut and shred the white meat, add seasoning, finely chopped onion and mayonnaise for a tasty chicken mayo toasted sandwich.

 

Cut the chicken into long strips. Add them to a green salad, along with croutons, half a hard-boiled egg and crispy onion bits for a satisfying salad.

 

Cut the leftover chicken into strips or cubes. Combine with a standard stir fry base to add some lean protein to your healthy greens.

 

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