Why do I always seem to be years behind the popular trends? If the fad has come and gone, you can be sure I am just getting into it. Like when I was 10, and finally got the tamagochi months after my friends had already killed their digital alien pet. And, I didn’t even get the real one… I ended up with the off-brand version they sold in the grocery stores for way cheaper.
Or, when I was 13 and thought I was super-alternative by wearing JNCO jeans, even though those clearly went out of style (I mean, were they ever really in style?) sometime in the mid-90s. I’m just getting into knee-high boots and those were soooo 2008.
So, it really doesn’t come as a surprise that I just made beer can chicken for the first time yesterday. This cooking method was all the rage forever ago, and every food blogger on the ‘net has their own take on the meal. But somehow it didn’t sink then that this chicken was worth the while. Now here I am, years after the trend is over, discovering that I love this method of cooking chicken. No really, I might never cook a whole bird any other way.
We bought the chicken fresh from the farm that provides our CSA share, and I knew that roasting it in the oven was out of the question because it is a warm 84 degrees in my house this summer. This bird had to be cooked outdoors. Luckily, we bought a smoker this year, and so it seemed like destiny that we would have to stuff this chicken with a beer can and cook it with fire.
I am so glad we went this route! This was the most flavorful chicken I have ever eaten. The dry rub enhanced the meat’s natural flavor and the skin was so crispy from smoking over low heat for a couple of hours. We used Sixpoint Diesel stout as our beer can of choice. It gave the chicken depth in flavor, but really contributed to keeping the meat so moist and tender. And, the smokiness of the chicken was a huge bonus, taking the flavor of this bird to a whole new level. Oh, and the smell of the smoker! I was drooling while waiting two hours to dig in to this bad boy. This may be the one time in my life where I wish chickens had 6 legs, so I could eat them all! You will absolutely want to give this a try before the summer is over. Even if you only have a regular grill, it’s never too late to jump on the beer can chicken train.
So, can someone please send me a memo next time when I’m about to miss out on a trendy, delicious food? Because, I’m sick of being years behind everyone else!