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May 31, 2010

Beer Can Chicken and Cucumber Salad

Happy Memorial Day! My long weekend was filled with friends, fun and a lot of food. Throughout the weekend we grilled flank steak stuffed with prosciutto, fontina and basil, chicken kabobs and swordfish kabobs. We rounded out the weekend with beer can chicken.  This has to be one of my favorite ways to eat chicken.  The beer evaporates into the chicken leaving it moist and full of flavor. Feel free to experiment with the spice rubs and beer choices. We opted for a cucumber salad as a refreshing, light and tangy side dish which is great on a hot day.

Beer Can Chicken
1 whole chicken
1 Tablspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablspoon poultry seasoning
1 can of beer
1 lemon, sliced
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme

Heat two outside burners on a grill to medium-high heat and leave the center burner off. Remove the gizzards from the chest cavity, rinse the bird and pat dry. Combine all of the spices in a bowl then rub all over the outside of the chicken. Open a can of beer and pour half into a shallow, disposable tin. Add lemons, rosemary and thyme. Insert the half full beer can into the cavity of the bird and sit the chicken upright in the tin tray. Place the entire bird on the tray sitting upright over the center burner that is not lit. Close the grill and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of about 165 degrees in the breast (about an hour and 15 minutes).  Remove the chicken from the grill and carefully remove the beer can with tongs and discard.  Allow to rest about 10 minutes before carving.

Cucumber Salad (makes a large bowl, great for a party)
6 cucumbers
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
3 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup champagne vinegar (you can add more or less to suit your taste)
1 full package of fresh dill (or one bunch- approx. 4 Tablespoons chopped)
feta, crumbled
salt & pepper to taste

Slice the cucumber extra thin to the point they are almost transparent and place in a bowl. Add the vinegar, red onion, salt, pepper and dill. Soak at least one hour (but even better overnight). When ready to serve, add the tomatoes and feta.


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