Kamado Joe: Cider Can Chicken
Beer Can Chicken is a very popular and easy way of cooking a chicken. A number of companies now produce BBQ utensils to recreate this effect; however my version works just as well and gives an added taste bonus.
Prepare your chicken by rubbing olive oil into the skin and then mix together your chosen BBQ dry rub. Coat the chicken in the rub and leave to rest for a couple of hours in the fridge. Do remember to take the chicken out about an hour or two before cooking, putting your chicken onto the BBQ straight from the fridge will cause the flesh and muscles to contract – making for a tougher chicken meat.
Normal Beer Can Chicken is simply case of opening a beer, sitting a chicken on it and placing it on the BBQ. Very simple but effective, however I always like to do things differently so for a different flavour I used cider in this recipe – Strongbow as it was left over in the fridge from Christmas.
Firstly empty the cider into another container and cut off the top with a sharp knife, fold over the edges to avoid any accidents and wash out the can ensuring there are no shavings of metal. Refill the can with the cider but adding a couple of cloves of garlic and a few branches of rosemary. Having a quick “taste” of the cider before refilling is perfectly acceptable…
Sit your chicken on the can using the legs to balance it and place on your BBQ at a temperature of about 200C – a little under 400F -for about an hour. Cooking time depends on the size of the bird, I always recommend using a thermometer ( Thermapen is my favourite) and checking the internal temperature.
Cooking your chicken this way means it is barbecued from the outside, producing a nice dark and crispy skin with flavour from the rub, but is also steamed cooked from the inside by the cider flavoured with herbs. A guaranteed moist, juicy chicken with a surprising apple cider flavour. An added bonus is the remaining cider and herbs can be used as a stock to make delicious gravy.
My wife still thinks this way of cooking is disrespectful to chickens – doesn’t stop her eating it !