It has occurred to me that a majority of my recipes involve alcohol in some form. Whether in the dish itself. Or at my side as my creative muse. Should this concern me in any way. Hell no!
So…Drunken Chicken. Beer Can Chicken. Drunken Beer Can Chicken. A summer grilling staple. So simple. So easy. Get a chicken. Season it. Or not. Drink half a tall boy of your favorite brew. Shove the tall boy up the aforementioned chicken’s butt (it seems really undignified somehow). (I know it’s not the butt, but somehow it looks like it is) Throw weird looking concoction on grill. And voila, about an hour and half later you have yourself a perfectly grilled chicken.
Of course my Drunken Chicken couldn’t possibly be so simple. So straightforward. Oh no! My Drunken Chicken involved going to three separate groceries for ingredients. Nothing I like more than spending a hot day driving around looking for things like anchiote. It also involved soaking dried peppers. Whirring many ingredients. Making a very special marinade involving ingredients I may very well never use again. And submerging a chicken in said marinade and letting it sit for 48 hours. I’m not making this shit up.
Tonight I will grill said chicken. Forty-eight hours have officially passed. It is time. In a few moments I will crack open a tall boy of Tecate and enjoy a glass with some lime. Because cracking open a PBR just isn’t fancy and annoying enough. I’ll start the grill. I’ll finagle the slippery, marinated chicken onto the tall boy. Chances of it slipping out of my hands and going God knows where is entirely possible. At some point I will find marinade in my hair.
This is one of those dishes where it better be better than good. Swoon worthy in fact. After all the trouble I went to pulling this thing together this had better be the nirvana of chicken.
- 2–3 chickens, 3 lbs each (I’m starting with one chicken in case this whole thing doesn’t pan out)
- Yucatan marinade*
- 2–3 24-oz tallboy beers (Habetz recommends Tecate)
- Hazelnut mole** (I was very tempted to go all Rick Bayless and Bobby Flay on you and make this. But once I saw the list of ingredients I decided to save it for another time) (Yes sometimes I can be very lazy) Don’t judge.
Please note: This is the list of ingredients for 2-3 whole chickens. I halved the ingredients. I actually had to do math.
- 12 dried ancho chiles, deseeded
- 12 dried guajillo chiles, deseeded
- 20 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 12-oz bottle Negra Modelo (Don’t you love when good beer is involved and you have to drink some it otherwise it will go to waste. I hate waste.)
- 2 tsp achiote powder or annatto seed (Three stores later where I found bubkus I found my achiote powder at a local bodega. Why I didn’t go there in the first place? I don’t know?)
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ cup chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tbsp salt
(1) SUBMERGE chiles in hot water and soak for 20 minutes.
(2) REMOVE chiles and purée them with ½ cup of the soaking liquid.
(3) ADD remaining ingredients, and purée.
(1) SUBMERGE birds in marinade and refrigerate 48 hours.
(2) OPEN beers and drink half of each.
(3) INSERT half-filled beer cans halfway into each chicken cavity and stand them upright on the grill. (Make sure chickens will fit under your grill cover—if they don’t, substitute 12-oz beer cans.)
(4) GRILL chickens over medium-high, indirect heat (not directly above coals), covered, until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees in the breast, 180 degrees in the thigh (about an hour and 15 minutes).
(5) REMOVE chickens from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
(6) SLATHER with hazelnut mole sauce and serve. (or buy a conveniently pre-made mole sauce and pretend you made it yourself. Not that I would ever do that. I’m all about transparency.)
I’ll let you know how it turns out. If it’s worth the trouble. If I’ll start devoting my life to making Beer Can Chicken. It could be a career path.