This post is sponsored by Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q
All year, I’ve partnered with Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q to showcase some of their outstanding products. The rubs, the sauces, the marinades — they hit the spot time and again. The sheer volume of barbecue swag has made me giddy with anticipation of their next shipment.
Well, it came! Featured in this package was Stubb’s Mesquite Liquid Smoke, Stubb’s Smokehouse Bourbon All Natural Cookin’ Sauce (umm-nom-nom), Stubb’s Chili Fixins All Natural Cookin’ Sauce and Stubb’s Chipotle Butter Injectable All Natural Marinade. Yes, injectable. It came with its own syringe. As soon as Scott saw that, we were ALL IN!
They say it would be good with poultry or pork and I concur. We opted for bird. Not just any bird. A Bell and Evans fresh, organic whole chicken. This fowl friend is free-range, raised without antibiotics, fed an all vegetarian diet, with no added growth hormones. I’m pretty sure this bird had court-side seats to the Miami Heat. And why not? It also had a place of honor on our dinner table.
Scott thought the injectable marinade could be augmented not by a lot of extra ingredients, but by a lot of smoke. Apple wood smoke. And to preserve the crispy, beautiful skin, and prevent it from sticking to the grill, it had to be smoked upright — steadied by a can of beer. Any brand will do – just be sure that it’s in a 12-ounce can — and not those skinny tall boys.
To go along with our chicken, we made crispy, tender chipotle-butter seasoned hasselback potatoes. Seriously good, though they need to be done in the oven because the temperature of the grill isn’t hot enough to cook the potatoes alongside the chicken.
Scott was the “surgeon” and injected the fowl with the Chipotle butter sauce. He went under the skin to avoid any holes that the marinade could seep out of. You’ll notice that the marinade goes deep into the tissue and noticeably plumps the meat.
When Scott was done playing mad scientist, we sprinkled a little magic fairy dust on top, a.k.a. Stubb’s Legendary BBQ Rub. (This wasn’t part of the shipment, but we had some leftover from a previous post and it seemed like a natural pairing.)
This part is a judgement call: Realistically, you only need one can of beer. Half goes into the smoker chips to soak and the other half acts as the seat for the chicken. But need and want are two different things. Scott finished the second half of the first beer and the first half of a second No big deal except we started making this at 11 a.m. on a Saturday morning. Don’t judge.
Then the bird atop its throne was ceremoniously placed on the grill. Our Weber has 3 heating elements. The soaked wood chips were on the far left side of the grill over direct heat. The opposite side where the chicken sat was turned off. Just by closing the grill cover, the grill heated up to 325?-350?. A perfect temperature to achieve maximum smoke and simultaneously roast the chicken.
Ok, so this is where it got really difficult for us. I had to take pictures of the finished product — but it smelled sooooooo good! Both of our stomachs were howling like wild wolves baying at a full moon. It took every bit of willpower I had to take the shots instead of ripping off a drumstick and having my way with it. The sacrifices I make!!! Luckily, you can skip taking the pictures and get right to the chow!
chipotle beer can chicken
- 1 whole chicken about 3.5 - 4 pounds
- 1 12- ounce jar Stubb's Chipotle Butter divided
- 3 tablespoons Stubb's Barbecue Rub divided
- 4 medium yukon gold potatoes
- 1 tablespoon butter cut into small small cubes
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- sprinkle of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 12 ounce can of beer
- fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- cherry or hickory wood chips
- smoker box
To set up the grill
We will be using an indirect cooking method for the chicken, which means if you're using a gas grill, only one of the burners will be on and the others will not. The wood chips will be set directly on the lit burners and the chicken will sit on the opposite side of the grill. Soak the wood chips for an hour in a container with 1/2 can beer and 1 cup water.
When wood chips have finished soaking, remove them from the soaking liquid and transfer to a smoker box. (If you don't have a smoker box, make a pouch out of heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the chips in the pouch and seal it, then use a sharp knife to poke holes all of the pouch. Set the smoker box/pouch directly over the burner that is your heat source. Turn on the grill to a medium high heat (about 350 degrees.) It will be ready to start cooking when white smoke is emitted from the grill.
Ready the chicken
Pour about 1 cup of the chipotle butter into a measuring cup. Use the needle to suck the chipotle mixture into the syringe. Start at the neck portion of the bird, injecting down under the skin and directly into the breast meat of the chicken. (You don't want to pierce the skin, because you want the flavors your injecting to remain inside the bird). Holding the bird upright, inject some marinade into the meatiest part of the thighs (you'll have to pierce the skin here, but keep the bird upright to mitigate the marinade seepage.
Sprinkle the outside of the bird with the rub and massage with your fingers.
Use a church key to puncture several holes in the top of the half empty beer can. Add about 1 tablespoon of rub to the beer. Carefully insert the beer can into the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken on the grill opposite the smoker basket and make sure that it's steady and won't fall over. Close the lid and cook for about an hour - or 1 hour and 15 minutes or when an internal thermometer registers 165 degrees. (I actually take it off a little before that because the chicken continues to cook when it's resting) Try not to open the grill too much in order to preserve the heat and smoke.
For the potatoes
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Add 1/2 cup of Stubb's Chipotle butter to a small bowl. Mix in the lime zest and honey. Set aside.
Place a potato on a large spoon (serving spoon will do, but it should cradle the bottom of the potato. Use a sharp knife to cut thin slices (about 1/8-1/4" thick) The edges of the spoon will prevent you from slicing all the way through the potato, creating that accordion effect. Divide the butter among the potatoes and massage on and slightly into the crevices -- not too much, you don't want to separate the slices. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pepper and then mop the potatoes with some of the chipotle lime honey mixture.
(The potatoes cook for about an hour, so judge when to put them into the oven based on how long it will take for the chicken to cook. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, basting with additional chipotle lime sauce occasionally. Potatoes should be crisp on the edges but tender inside.
When the chicken is done, carefully remove the beer can, tent the chicken with tin foil and let the bird rest for about 5-10 minutes. Carve the chicken and transfer to a platter. Arrange the potatoes on the platter and sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve.