An Easier Main Dish for Thanksgiving - Stout Can Chicken

I know turkey is the tradition for Thanksgiving. Turkey also lends itself so well to all those leftovers - turkey stew, turkey and rice soup, turkey hash, turkey and noodles...

Sorry - I'm having "A Christmas Story" flashback.

There are people who just don't like turkey. Also, chicken takes much less time to cook than a 20-pound turkey. What? You only buy a 10-pound turkey? Chicken still takes less time to cook and can be dressed up several ways.

Unless I'm making good ol' fashioned Southern fried chicken, about the only way we eat a whole chicken is with a beer can shoved up its...well, you know. Fill that can half-full with a stout and add a few seasonings and the flavor and moistness will knock you off your feet - in about an hour.

There are as many ways to prepare chicken as there are cooks in this country. Try a method other than roasting a whole chicken. After all, if you are going to ignore Thanksgiving tradition and eat chicken, why not try a different cooking method as well.

Stout Can Chicken - serves 2-4

If you are fortunate enough to have tried beer-can chicken, it's time to play with the flavor. While the fancy holders are not required, they do hold the chicken and can very nicely. An added bonus of beer-can chicken - it can be prepared on the grill or in the smoker, creating room in the oven for other non-traditional Thanksgiving dishes, such as scalloped potatoes. The garlic and rosemary act as aromatics and hold up well to the robust flavor of the stout.

1 3 ½-4 pound whole roasting chicken, rinsed, patted dry
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved if necessary
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 12-16 oz. can stout (dark beer)

After cleaning the chicken and patting it dry, rub the canola oil over the outside. Open the can of stout and pour out ¾ of a cup. At this point in time, you have an option. If you are smoking the chicken, pour the ¾ cup of stout over the wood chips you plan to use in a disposable pie pan. If you are baking or using charcoal, drink the stout. Add the garlic and rosemary to the stout can. Holding the chicken by its wings, press it down over the stout can inserting the can into the bottom cavity. Carefully pull the legs forward, creating a tripod (the can is the third leg) and the chicken will stand upright. If grilling or smoking, use the indirect cooking method until the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees, usually 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. If roasting in an oven, place the chicken standing in a drip pan on the lowest rack of the oven. Roast at moderate heat - 350 degrees until done. Allow chicken to "rest" for 15 minutes before carving.

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