The feast proceeds! If you’ve followed this far, the next step is to relax and drink a beer. Drink about half of a 12 oz can thereof…
And now, with the grill lit and the beer half drunk, get out your chicken. I assume you had one dutifully marinating? No? Well, if you don’t have a time machine, grab a whole chicken, trim off excess fat, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Chop up some garlic and fresh rosemary to slip under the skin and rub around inside the cavity a bit. (You could easily use bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces too — but then you wouldn’t need a beer can.) If you’re really feeling saucy, you can rub the skin with butter. Then grill her up for 2 hours plus (or until you reach an internal temperature of 165 as per USDA recommendations) and you are set.
If you *do* have a time machine, take that sucker 6-24 hours into the past and go to your local grocery store. Pick up a habanero pepper, a bunch of fresh mint leaves and a couple limes (in case you’re not the type to have limes on hand at all times.) Then use your trusty food processor to make a paste of the mint leaves, lime juice/zest from 2 limes, 6 garlic cloves, a tablespoon each of ground black pepper, cumin, and sugar, 2 tablespoons kosher salt, 2 teaspoons each of paprika and dried oregano, and a teaspoon of diced habanero. Rub half the paste under the skin of the chicken, and the remaining half over the skin. Tuck wingtips underneath the chicken, and put that thing in the fridge for 6-24 hours…until you get back to present day. (You can use the remainder of your extra time to make sure your parents fall in love, or put right what once went wrong, or defeat evil robots bent on world domination…etc.)
Now the tricky part: balancing the chicken on the grill…
Actually, you know what? Screw it.
If you don’t own some sort of rack for roasting poultry, it’s a cheap investment that will help you out in situations like this.
In 2 hours or so, you’ll have something looking like this:
Looks good, right?
Well, I hate to admit it but we actually finished her off in the oven, at 450 for around 20 minutes. So, when you think about it, both the grill and the beer can were not strictly necessary. Not to say they were worthless, since the grill makes things smoky and the can makes things whimsical.
Anyway, here’s the final product:
Don’t forget to let it rest for a while before you cut into it! (All meat requires some time to rest, so that the juices can redistribute.) In this case, 20 minutes or so should do it. Then: Enjoy!
PS: the marinade for the ‘time machine’ version of this chicken was adapted from the ‘Peruvian Garlic-Lime Chicken’ recipe which appeared in the March/April 2011 issue of Cook’s Illustrated. While the folks over at Cook’s will make you pay to get their original recipe, you can get a free copy of it from the food blogosphere.