Wine Infused "Beer Can" Chicken

Plopping a whole chicken on top of an open can of beer and then roasting it on a grill might sound odd but once you try it you’ll be hooked!

Beer can chicken is something I’ve been making for years, and with very little effort it always seems to come out perfect. Usually I’ll make a dry rub of several different spices like cumin, paprika, garlic, cayenne, dry mustard and brown sugar and rub that all over my bird.

But this time I wanted to try something different and use wine instead of beer, and replace the dry spice rub I with a fresh herb mixture consisting of lemon peel, garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and a drizzling of olive oil which made a nice thick paste. I rubbed the paste all over my rinsed and patted dry chicken, making sure to get it underneath the skin as much as possible, then I let it sit for a good 30 minutes.
In the meantime I opened up a bottle of wine that was room temperature, rinsed out some empty tin cans and then proceeded to pour the wine into the cans, making sure to leave a little room at the top. I used an inexpensive chardonnay which had some citrus notes, a good choice for the chicken.
You can find beer can chicken holders in many different stores and on line. There’s double and single holders, some are very fancy and some very basic, they all work well. You really don’t even need to use a holder because the chicken usually balances perfectly just right on the can, but a holder makes it easier for you to pick up and move the chicken.

Lower your chicken over the can until the can is inside the body cavity, this will insure that all the wine will infuse throughout the bird, then to make sure that the steam doesn’t escape just place a sliced onion wedge on top where the neck cavity hole is.

Having a gas grill makes it easy to regulate the heat, make sure your cooking temperature stays between 350 and 375 degrees. Depending on the size of your chicken times may vary, mine took 1 1/2 hours to reach the internal temperature of 180.
Never place the chicken on direct heat, I have 3 burners I shut the middle one off and that is where I place my chicken, the other 2 burners are on.
For charcoal grills read manufacturers suggestions for indirect heating.

Make sure you let your chicken rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into it.
The result from using wine instead of beer was fantastic, the herbs infused the chicken with so much flavor, the wine made the meat so tender and moist and the skin was super crunchy, a win win situation!

For one of my sides I made Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes. Plum tomatoes stuffed with grated cheese and basil, it went excellent with the chicken.

I got this recipe from my friend Stacey’s blog, I’ve been making them over and over, they’re that good!

I also made some Italian Potato Salad. Green beans, tomatoes, olives, red onion and potatoes all dressed with olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
A nice alternative to a mayo based potato salad.

I have to give a shout out to my hubby who always keeps our yard looking so good with all the flowers he plants. Next week the forecast is finally looking warm, the tomatoes and other veggies are ready to go into the ground. Stay tuned for updates!

Buon Appetito!