I was born and raised in Italy, so of course I knew nothing about beer can chickens until a few years ago. I don't remember where I had my first one, but the notion of cooking a whole chicken with a beer can up his butt was quite hilarious (I'm easily entertained, I guess) and the result was a juicy, delicious chicken. Ever since then I've been trying to find the perfect recipe to make my own and -after a few tries- I think I've come up with one that is good and spicy. The secret is to keep the breast from drying up, which is pretty easy if you baste it with lots of liquids before you put the bird on the grill. The marinade also infuses the meat with a delicious BBQ-like flavor, while the beer and the liquid smoke do the same from the inside.
BEER CAN CHICKEN
1 whole chicken
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
6 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 can beer
3 tablespoons barbecue smoked seasoning
Preheat grill on medium high.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken. Loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.Be careful not to pierce the skin -it's what keeps the bird from drying.
Combine ketchup, sugar, paprika, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and vinegar in a bowl. Rub it under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks.
Place on preheated grill, lower heat and cook slowly, with the lid closed, for about 1 1/2 hours or until desired internal temperature is reached.