Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cooking w/Beer: Beer Can Chicken w/Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Friends brought over a chicken they raised. We decided to do something we hadn't done in a while: do a beer can chicken. The biggest difference was that I didn't run to the store to buy a Bud for the chicken. It was decided that we should use a beer that we would drink.

I did some research and found that many different beers could be used, but which would we use for this chicken? R put a spicy rub with chocolate. Anything too bitter would bring out the bitterness of the chocolate. I thought about a Hefeweizen, but the flavors would be lost to the spicy rub. A wheat ale seemed too delicate. Finally, we settled on a brown ale that would bring out the sweetness of the rub and stand up to the spice and smoke. So, a Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale was poured into our beer can chicken contraption.

I forgot just how moist a beer can chicken tastes. The chicken actually sat in the grill longer than I had intended, reaching temperatures well beyond the minimum. Normally, this would mean a dried out chicken, but the beer properly cooked and moistened the bird. Additionally, the sweetness of the malt complimented the rub well.

If I learned anything from the beer can chicken, it's that you should always cook with a beer you're willing to drink. R has the same rule for wine. I'll remember this for my next beer dish.

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