BUT...I've never had a pair of boots. Or a cowboy hat.
I HATE COUNTRY MUSIC!! (Is Lady Antebellum considered country? Please say NO!)
I just recently started eating barbecued ribs.
I've refused to make Beer Butt Chicken as it's so delicately called by some in my fair state.
Why??? Everyone says it's SO good and the best way to grill a chicken.
It's the name. Plain and Simple. Really, how much more redneck could it get?
Then as I was planning dinner, I had a thought. I had planned to grill a whole chicken anyway, then while searching for something else, I saw a photo that jogged my memory about this odd little method.
Rather than Beer Butt Chicken, we'll call it Wine Infused Chicken. It sounds better and since I'm not a beer lover anyway, it will taste better. I moved FROM Texas to be in Wine Country. So it only seems right. I can redeem this recipe somewhat from it's Redneck-ness!
I did a quick search to see the basic Can method sans the beer since cans of beer NEVER see the interior of our fridge! (I don't drink it at all and Kyle only drinks a few very dark beers from bottles.)
My search led me to a new favorite website. Based on these photos, I thought. "Easy Peasy! I can do this."
I had several Hansen's soda cans waiting to be taken to a recycling place and always have inexpensive wine, Thank You "Two Buck Chuck"!
So...off I went. I picked fresh herbs from my wine barrel herb garden.
I chopped them up fine with some dried lemon peel from my huge lemon harvest.
After adding a little olive oil, minced garlic and red pepper flakes, I massaged my little chicken buddy with all this goodness.
Then set him atop the can.
All went well until I took him to the grill. (Cue ominous music...)
Not being a gadget girl, the Beer Can Chicken holder thingy had never grabbed my attention and I certainly wasn't going to go buy it.
Confidently moving along, I strode out to the grill with the soda can filled with wine and herbs along with my gorgeously slathered chicken. After setting him on the grill carefully, I turned around to take the cookie sheet that was holding everything over to the patio table. "SSSHHHH!!" As I turned around half expecting to see my chicken "boy" come to life, I saw the him. On his side, "Shushing" me. (Then I realized it actually was the wine spilling out onto the grill grates.)
Though I knew a flare-up was imminent with the direct contact of chicken skin, I also noticed some rather nice grill marks on the side that hit the grill, so wanting yummy char more than hair at that moment, I flipped it quickly to the other side, while deftly removing the now-empty can, to mark that side.
Now...You'll notice no pictures from this point.
No, it's not because I'm now bald. (Thankfully)
No, it's not because of a fear of failure.
And. No, it's not because I don't want to show mistakes in the kitchen.
It's simply that necessity kicked in and I had to quickly go to Plan B to feed my hungry family. (This was a two-fer actually since at about the same moment I was having the chicken crisis, my oldest son was realizing that the project he had completed the day before wasn't going to work for his class and I was able to use my problem solving as an example of moving on, not giving up, "make lemononade" and any other number of additional parental advice theories I could drum up to motivate him to go to his own Plan B. Which, proudly and thankfully, he did! But my time was spent elsewhere away from the camera.)
Jack the oven up to 520 degrees. Cut out the backbone of the chicken with my less-than-refined butchery skills (AKA used kitchen shears and just got 'er done! That's my Texan coming out!). Flattened it slightly and placed on a rack over a cookie sheet (same one as before). At this high heat for 15-20 minutes, the grill marks were joined by beautiful browned skin, then another 30 minutes at 400 finished the job.
The Lemonade of Plan B? Chicken Fat!
See those little, brown nuggets in the salad?
Gluten free baguette chunks dredged in chicken fat and baked til crunchy were completely AWE. SOME. . They actually tasted like...well...Chicken! Fried chicken that is! YUM!!!!
Ok, I guess I have been a bit afraid to let you in on my kitchen disasters. They have happened over the last two years and I just decided to wait til the next time something awesome came out of my kitchen to blog rather than post them. My goal, though is to make cooking from real ingredients more approachable, not perfect!
I pledge to share more and let you in on my good days and bad from here on out. (It is actually a bit cathartic!)
Oh, and if you've successfully made Beer Butt Chicken (especially without the gadgety thing) please pass this info along. I'd love to try, try again!
Print Page Copyright 201 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got