This is probably the most interesting recipe I have written to date. When cooked the chicken look pretty hilarious and taste pretty good too.

It’s a bit fiddley to get the birds onto the cans and to move them from the oven to baste but I promise it is well worth trying at least once.

The theory is that as the beer heats up in the can, it steams the chicken from the inside out, infusing all that beery goodness into the meat, and have I mentioned how hilarious they look?

I cooked quite a few chickens because I had quite a few people over to cook for but the ingredients below are for one bird.



1 free range chicken

1 can of beer (pick your favourite, I tested this with cider, lager and brown ale, all of which tasted great)

1 good glug of olive oil

For the dry rub:

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon Spanish paprika

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons of dried coriander

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

2 teaspoons table salt

1 tablespoon cornflour


Pre heat the oven to a high heat, around gas mark 8 or 230”.

Start off by making the dry rub by adding all ingredients to a large bowl and toss until evenly mixed.

Rub the spice mix into the skin of the bird vigorously, get under the skin of the breast and sprinkle a bit in the cavity. Next get the beer can ready, pour half of the can away (preferably into a mouth) and then slide the chicken over the half full can, push it down low enough so that the legs of the bird can help stabilise the can.

Pop the bird into the piping hot oven for 30 minutes to seal in the flavours and crisp up the skin.

This bit can be quite fiddly; you may need to manoeuvre a few shelves.

While the bird is in the oven, add a good glug of oil to the remaining dry rub in the bowl to form a loose paste to then baste onto the skin of the bird.

After 30 minutes, remove the bird from the oven (this can be very fiddley too. Give the bird a jolly good basting with the basting paste. Make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

Turn the oven down to around gas mark 5 (190”) Pop the bird back into the oven for at least another hour.

You can serve the birds straight from the oven but I popped them onto a hot BBQ for another 20 minutes to smoke through.

Make sure to then rest the meat for at least another ten minutes before carving, the steam from the beer should make the meat soft, tender and easy to carve (and even easier to eat). Serve with a splat of crème fraiche with a drip of harissa paste twirled in.


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