Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 20, 2010

Hubby’s Birthday Dinner

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 9:06 pm
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Today’s post will be a departure from my norm.  I felt the need to share this recipe because it was really delicious and my whole family loved it!  This is a highly unusual occurance.  My younger daughter has always been picky beyond picky.  For a while in her past there was exactly 3 dinners she would eat without a fuss: chicken nuggets, fish sticks or grilled cheese.  Thankfully, she has recently expanded her palate and has been more willing to try new things.  My older daughter started out picky as a toddler (what toddler isn’t?) but came around to trying new things at a younger age.  She has developed true carnivorous tendencies over the years and prefers beef and pork to chicken.  So, since this meal was actually chicken, the fact that it turned out to be a crowd pleaser was rather amazing.  This was a bit of a cooking adventure for me, so luckily I thought to take pictures along the way.  It all started out with this:

Saturday was hubby’s birthday and I gave him this book as one of his gifts.  He enjoys cooking.  He had to work Saturday night, so we planned to have his birthday dinner Sunday.  I asked him what he wanted for his dinner. ( The rule in our house is that you do not have to cook or do dishes on your birthday.)  He found a recipe in this cookbook for Bayou Rotisserie Chicken.  It sounded very good, but alas we have no rotisserie for our grill or elsewhere in our house.  But we do happen to have handy-dandy beer can chicken roasters.  You’ve heard of beer can chicken, right?  The concept is that you stand a whole chicken upright on a half-full can of beer to roast it.  The vapors from the beer are supposed to keep it moist inside and standing up you don’t scortch any side of the chicken.  We’d done that in the past, but the chickens aren’t always stable on the can of beer.  The roaster has a platform for support and a cylinder for holding the beer can.  So I decided to do Beer Can Bayou Chicken.  You have to do smaller birds for them to really balance on the beer cans, so I did 2, 4 pound birds.  Hubby’s mom was joining us for dinner as well so we had plenty of meat, plus drumsticks and wings for the girls – their preferred parts. 

Six to eight hours before you want to start cooking, the chickens get marinated in a brine of these ingredients, plus water:
brine ingredients

Mix ’em all up and pour over the chickens in a large ziploc bag:
brining chickens

After brining, pat the chickens dry.  Smear them all over with dry rub made from these ingredients:
dry rub ingredients

The dry rub looks like this when you are done mixing:
dry rub

Next step, open 2 cans of beer, pour out half of each into a glass, serve to hubby ( or yourself if you care for that sort of thing.  I prefer a Mike’s Hard Lemonade myself.)  Place cans of beer into beer can roasters.  Slide chickens on to the beer cans like so:

( Cue “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel.  Didn’t you just love that video?  Hubby wanted to help pose the chickens with their wings out for this picture!)

Place chickens for off-set cooking on the grill.  We had the middle two burners on medium and the outer four on low.

I ended up tenting the chickens with tin foil after about half an hour when the skins were browning quickly.  I also turned the two outermost burners off for a bit when it seemed to be getting a wee bit too hot (and by wee bit I mean the edges of the chickens were on fire!)  After about an hour and a half we had this:

(Well, we had two of them, actually, but I forgot to take a picture before the first one was cut up!)  Hubby literally high-fived me when we had a little taste of that crispy skin!  That dry rub was delicious!  I filled out the meal with native corn-on-the-cob, homemade broccoli slaw and grilled zucchini, picked fresh from my garden.  It was quite the meal to be proud of, if I say so myself!

To finish off, cake of course!  I didn’t make this.  This lovely speciman came from our local Big Y:

That’s chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting and fudgy swirls.  Man, that was good!

For those of you who’d like the recipes, here ya go:

For the brine:

8 cups water

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup hot pepper sauce

6 cloves garlic, minced

For the dry rub:

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

The book also calls for 1 tsp of thyme (didn’t have it) and 1/2 tsp allspice (hubby doesn’t like it).  This was delicious without either of those, but feel free to give it a shot if it would make you happy!

Who wants to come to my next cookout? 😉