Albeit more commonly found on the States side of the Atlantic, Beer Can Chicken is well worth making. A chicken is regally enthroned atop a can of beer then oven roast until the outer skin reaches crisp and its meat is succulently juicy.

Perhaps I detect a few raised eyebrows and certainly hope this will initiate comment but, what can possibly be wrong with a well timed novelty so long as the results are nothing short of perfection.

To begin, remove any giblets from the cavity of the chicken then rinse with cold water and pat dry. I generally find a 2kg chicken will serve 3 – 4, but this is entirely dependant on opinion and appetite.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C and set the shelf to its lowest point. Combine the following herbs and spices to make a tasty rub, though of course you may easily substitute your favourite commercial mélange. I shudder at the thought of eating a soft, flabby skin of roast chicken, but prepared in this manner, not a morsel will remain uneaten.

  • 2 tsp. mild paprika
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Next, open a can of beer and either sit back and enjoy a small glass or tip away half. My choice is for a slim 500ml can but, the downside being that the beer should be at room temperature. This may influence your decision as to whether or not to enjoy the beverage, but rest assured that the economy brand works as equally well as the premium choice.

Place the chicken, cavity side downwards over the half full can of beer which is sitting in a roasting tin. Carefully press down until the can is firmly impaled. This is a critical stage and it is wise to check that the chicken will fit into the oven. If the chicken touches the inner roof of the oven, then press down a little more over the can. For extra stability, arrange the legs to form a tripod.

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken followed by the rub mixture. Add 500ml of cold water to the roasting tin – the juices will drip into the water and produce a wonderful stock with which to make gravy.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 1 ½ hours or until the skin is crispy and any juices run clear. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes or so prior to serving. Remove the can with caution - it is very hot!