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Dorothy Dean presents: Beer-can chicken on the grill

The seasoned beer in the can helps create a juicy, flavorful chicken on the grill or in the oven. (Audrey Alfaro photo / Audrey Alfaro)
The seasoned beer in the can helps create a juicy, flavorful chicken on the grill or in the oven. (Audrey Alfaro photo / Audrey Alfaro)

Outdoor grilling season is in full effect.

But instead of throwing on the usual suspects – hot dogs, hamburgers, kebabs, steaks – how about firing up an entire chicken?

There’s no easier way to do that than to perch that bad boy on top of a beer can and let him slow roast to moist perfection. This technique creates a juicy, flavorful bird that’s adorned with crisp, evenly browned skin. It can also be made in the oven.

But it’s summer – get outside, relax and have a beer while having a beer cook your dinner.

Beer-can Chicken

1 whole chicken, 3 1/2-4 pounds

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons of your favorite spice mix

1 can beer

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 lemon wedge

Few apple slices

Quarter of small onion

5 sprigs of cilantro, or other fresh herbs

Prepare your grill for indirect heat. If you are using charcoal, put the coals on one side of the grill, leaving another side free of coals. If using a gas grill, fire up only half of the burners. If using an oven, set to 350.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rub entire chicken with olive oil. Coat well with spice mix, reserving 1 tablespoon for beer.

Open beer and drink or discard about 1/3 of it. Pour remaining beer into cup and add in remaining spice mix and Worcestershire sauce. Carefully cut top off empty beer can using can opener. Place can on metal pie plate or baking dish (or in a fancy beer-can chicken contraption, if you have it). Pour in seasoned beer mixture and add in lemon, apple slices, onion and cilantro, or other fresh herbs.

Slide chicken cavity over can, using legs and can as a tripod for balance. Place on cool side of grill, or in middle of oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until thickest part of thigh reads 160-165 degrees. Let rest for about 10 minutes before removing the beer can. Carefully lift chicken off can using tongs and oven-safe gloves, transfer to cutting board, carve and serve.