- Difficulty 3
- Prep Time 15 mins + 1 hr 30 mins standing
- Cook Time 1 hr
- Serves 4 to 6
Bold words, we know, but we’re pretty sure this is the best beer-can chicken you’ll ever eat. A lemony radler keeps the meat moist and gives it slammin’ citrus flavour, and the skin comes out delectably salty and crispy. It’s chicken heaven. The key to that incredible bronzed exterior: coating the fridge-cold meat with a zesty rub, then letting it stand till it’s room temperature before hitting the oven.
- 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) finely chopped rosemary
- 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) fennel seeds
- 2-1/2 tsp (12.5 mL) salt
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) red pepper flakes
- Zest of 1 large lemon (about 1 tbsp/15 mL), see tips
- 1.3 kg whole chicken
- 1 500 mL can lemony radler
- 1. In a small bowl, stir together rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and rub rosemary mixture all over outside to coat evenly (see tips). Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and let stand, uncovered, on the counter until room temperature, about 1-1/2 hours (see tips).
- 2. About 15 to 20 minutes before cooking, place rack in bottom of oven (chicken will be standing upright, so make sure there’s enough clearance overhead) and preheat to 425°F.
- 3. Remove rack and chicken from roasting pan and set aside. Open radler can and place in centre of roasting pan (if desired, to make handling easier, pour out a tablespoonful or so of the beer). Lift chicken and set cavity firmly onto can, arranging legs to support body and keep upright.
- 4. Transfer chicken on can in roasting pan to preheated oven. Roast until skin is deep golden and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 180°F, about 1 hour.
- 5. Remove chicken from can (see tips) and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
- Use the freshest, best-quality chicken you can afford for this recipe. While letting the seasoned meat come up to room temperature (68 to 72°F/20 to 22°C) before roasting may sound a little strange, it ensures you’ll get the crispiest skin. If it’s hot out and room temperature is higher than this range, skip this step to stay food-safe. Refrigerate the seasoned meat for 1-1/2 hours and pop it directly into the preheated oven.
- When you’re rubbing the rosemary mixture into the chicken skin, make sure to get into the little nooks and crannies around the legs.
- Use a fine rasp grater to zest the lemon.
- Taking the cooked chicken off the can is easier when two people are on hand. Use clean oven mitts or a clean tea towel — or, better yet, heatproof silicone mitts — to lift the hot roast upward while the other person holds the can in place.