3. Januar 2011

Week 39/52: Beer Butt Chicken

When the other favorite brother gave me that Jamie Oliver's America cookbook for my 32. 25. birthday in October, I knew right away which recipe I desperately wanted to try. Not only wanted wanted really so, but desperately: the beer butt chicken.

The poor little chicken is placed on a can of beer - which highly amuses the little ones in the kitchen - and returns from the oven as tender as never before. Sounds like a New Year's Eve party? It sure does.

You need chicken, that's obvious, but you also need:
1 can of Pilsener beer (best: 333 ml)
1 heaped tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp cane sugar
1 tsp mild red pepper
salt and pepper
olive oil

And I could finally use that mortar and pestle I had bought months ago after some recipes that required pestling. Of course, the moment I bought that thing, it was never again required... But now!

So get started by preheating the oven to 200°C and set aside a baking sheet with a grate on top. You can also use a kettle barbecue with a lid, but I didn't want to set that up in someone else's kitchen. Take the chicken out of the fridge and set it to warm to room temperature. We don't want to scare it too much with that hot oven later on.

Then grind that fennel thoroughly in a mortar and if that cumin of yours is not yet a powder but the seeds, grind them as well.

Mix with paprika, cane sugar, red pepper, salt and pepper and add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to make a nice marinade for the chicken.

Rub the chicken with the marinade - inside and outside - making sure to cover all the hidden spots as well.

Open the beer and take a sip, especially when you are using a large can of 500 ml. You want to have about 250 ml in it. Place the chicken on the can as if it had to go to the toilet and is looking for some comfort. Enjoy the laughing children around you.

Place the chicken with the can on the grate and make sure that it does not topple and fall. You can use the grate's bars to secure the chicken's feet a bit by squeezing them between two bars just a bit. Should work.

Place the baking sheet with grate and chicken in the oven for about an hour and use that time for some idle talk and alcohol. Or, if you are that hungry, eat some of the hors d'oeuvre you made earlier. Or prepare some side dishes. We made that potatoe salad we tried the other day. You could also lay the table, if you haven't come to a home where that had been taken care of earlier.

Once the chicken is done, use four hands equipped with four oven mittens to get the chicken off its seat: one of you takes the whole entourage off the oven and holds it above a counter while the other one of you takes the can out of the chicken. Surprisingly enough, there is still beer in it.

Take a seat.

Enjoy as it is a really tasty chicken with a bit of adventure and play. The meat is really tender but does not carry the beer flavor at all. That disappoints a bit, but the marinade makes up for it with a really spicy, tasty, crusty flavor. The geek does not pair well with cumin, it turned out, but he never said so before, so what could I have done to rescue him? Nothing, I suppose. I enjoyed it and can check "chicken on a can of beer" off my cooking list. Thank you, New Year's Eve.

If you are not into showing off how much you like that chicken, you could also make a really dumb face.

Guten Appetit.


  1. MUHAHA - großartiger Anblick.

    Wenn die Damen nun noch die Beinchen schwingen lassen würden... #moulin rouge style

  2. Huhu Du Liebe,
    .... also das Chicken wäre ja durchaus als "Multikreativer Moment 2011" durchgegangen *kicher*. Ich hoff doch Du machst mit.
    Relaxte Woche GLG

  3. Große Güte, macht man das so mit den Hähnchen?? Nichts für meine veggie sensibilities ... :-p
    Vielleicht schaust Du auch zuviel David Lynch?