Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 20, 2010

Hubby’s Birthday Dinner

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

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? 😉


  1. Me! Me! I don’t even have a grill anymore–I’m a menace around open flames–but I love cookouts.

    Comment by Gerry — July 20, 2010 @ 10:05 pm | Reply

    • I hope you get invited to bunches of cookouts in MI, Gerry! What’s summer without BBQ? 🙂

      Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 8:40 am | Reply

  2. We definitely want to come to your next BBQ!!! The chicken sounds delicious, not to mention that looks like a cake to die for.

    Heather was looking at the pictures with me and said, “Look Mom, that chicken is standing up and pooping!” 3 year olds are fascinated with everything potty-oriented!

    Comment by Andrea — July 21, 2010 @ 7:32 am | Reply


      Comment by JenniferA — July 21, 2010 @ 8:24 am | Reply

    • Too funny! But you know, she’s right! The last chicken picture does kinda look like its doing its business!

      Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 8:41 am | Reply

  3. That does sound good! Both my girls are picky eaters, and the older one is MUCH worse than the younger one! (And I don’t like chicken on the bone, so I would be using chicken breast for this recipe)

    Comment by thedailyclick — July 21, 2010 @ 8:07 am | Reply

    • Give it a shot and let me know how it works out! I think the just the dry rub alone would be yummy if you didn’t want to bother to brine.

      Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 8:42 am | Reply

  4. Dude, this should have been a guest post on my blog! 😉

    Nice job! Looks tasty.

    Comment by JenniferA — July 21, 2010 @ 8:24 am | Reply

    • Yeah, I guess it could’ve been! I did steal your format a bit, but it is such a rarity that I get into so much cooking (except for Christmas) that I thought it worthy of blogging!

      Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  5. You mean there is hope for my picky beyond picky eater? I swear he’s never going to grow on what little he eats.

    Comment by Becky Sue — July 21, 2010 @ 8:25 am | Reply

    • The hope for my super-picky eater started over the last maybe year and a half. She’ll be 13 in a couple weeks, so she must have been 11 when she finally decided maybe she was missing out on some tastier foods. There’s still lots of things she won’t eat (burgers or anything made with hamburg included there), but the nights are fewer and fewer that I have to throw a separate meal of chicken nuggets in the toaster oven for her! BBQ pork was what got her started on her road to more varied eating!

      Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 8:48 am | Reply

  6. Wow! That looks so very scrumptious! I’m going to send the link to this post to my son who is the grill god in our family. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how good the bakery delights from Big Y are! Let’s see, who has a birthday next month…

    Comment by Barbara — July 21, 2010 @ 11:28 am | Reply

    • Let me know if your grill god tries and likes this recipe!
      Would it be you by any chance having a birthday? 😉

      Comment by karma — July 21, 2010 @ 1:17 pm | Reply

      • Grill god is now officially curious! No, not me, none of us has a summer birthday. (I’m in January.) But I’m going to suggest a Labor Day cookout!

        Comment by Barbara — July 21, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

  7. Brining IS the key! We always brine chicken and pork. Makes a HUGE difference!

    So glad hubby had a great day (well, at least he ATE good!) The chicken does look fantastic!

    My DH’s B-day is today. Menu will be bacon-wrapped, bleu-cheese stuffed filets of beef. Not sure about sides yet but there IS cake!! 🙂

    Comment by milkayphoto — July 21, 2010 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  8. Gee, we’ve been married the same number of years, husbands’ birthdays are close – your birthday isn’t close to April by any chance, is it? 😉

    Your dinner plan sounds lovely except for the bleu cheese! That’s a no-thank you for me. I usually substitute feta in recipes like that. Happy b-day to your DH!

    Comment by Karma — July 21, 2010 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

    • My birthday is in early June so pretty close if you ask me. Hubby and I were born the same year but I am older by 47 days.

      I didn’t used to care for bleu cheese but boy-oh-boy, once you tried the good stuff, you’re hooked! 🙂

      Comment by milkayphoto — July 21, 2010 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

  9. Jack Daniels, Honey, Hot Pepper Sauce and Garlic…. Count me in… I’m on my way… I’m not entirely sure I want my chicken standing up still, as that looks slightly disturbing… lol…

    Comment by FS Photography — July 21, 2010 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

    • It was quite delicious! Luckily, we actually knocked the chicken down and chopped it up, so you wouldn’t have that disturbing vision on your plate! 😉

      Comment by karma — July 21, 2010 @ 9:20 pm | Reply

  10. Grunt,grunt….,,wife use fire, cook hub more food……….yummmmmmmmmmm

    Comment by Da hubby — July 22, 2010 @ 12:51 am | Reply

  11. It’s 9:00 in the morning and I am now craving chicken. lol! It looks delicious!

    I didn’t know Better Homes & Garden made a grilling cookbook. I’ve had their regular cookbook since getting married over 30 years ago. I’ll have to look for the grilling one to give to my husband.

    Comment by Robin — July 22, 2010 @ 9:03 am | Reply

    • Seems like a pretty good book – and I found it in Lowe’s, a very manly type of store!

      Comment by Karma — July 22, 2010 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  12. In these here parts we call this “Beer Butt Chicken” and it is the Best!!! Will definitely give your version a try. 🙂

    Comment by kanniduba — July 26, 2010 @ 7:37 am | Reply

    • Beer Butt chicken! Perfect! Definitely give it a try and let me know what you think. This recipe is a keeper!

      Comment by Karma — July 26, 2010 @ 8:59 am | Reply

  13. […] recipes … but, I take pictures of food.  Sometimes, those food pictures have become posts for recipes that I have shared with you.  Other times, the photos just sit there in my archives, […]

    Pingback by I am not a food blogger… « Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog — November 11, 2010 @ 10:36 am | Reply

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