A few years ago, I tried to make beer-can chicken. The recipe called for balancing a whole chicken on a half-empty can of beer, then grilling it over indirect heat. The steam generated from the beer was supposed to keep the chicken moist, while the indirect heat bronzed the skin without turning it black.
I’m an ardent fan of roast chickens, and this seemed like the perfect way to cook a chicken on a hot day when I didn’t want to turn on the oven and heat up the house. The bird could cook outside with the mosquitoes while I stayed inside with the air-conditioner.
But my grilling skills back then were sorely lacking. My chicken ended up a pale, rubbery mess, probably a result of not adding enough coals as they burned down.
It was so disappointing that I might never have tried beer-can chicken again. But then I got a gas grill, which can provide consistent heat, making the recipe less prone to human error.
So I picked up a can of beer and a chicken, game for another round.
One of the other problems I had last time was a very dry bird. I tried to think of a way to avoid relying on the steam from the beer to keep the chicken moist. I decided to bring out the big guns – a tub of mayonnaise, perfect for preventing the flesh from drying out. It could also act as a vehicle for adding spices (and color).
I could have used any spice mix, either purchased or homemade, but chose Madras curry because I love its earthy, intense flavor. A squirt of hot sauce gave the mixture a happy jolt. I slathered it all over the bird, including inside the cavity, and plopped it on the grill.
That wasn’t all I did. Usually, when I roast a chicken, I add potatoes and carrots …
Read more of this New York Times story.