You've heard of Beer Can Chicken, well why get a beer when you can use root beer. I don't think I've ever cooked such a perfect chicken before. The good thing is if you can't eat it all in one meal.. use the left overs for tacos the next day. mmmmmm.
Ingredients1 small-medium whole chicken, cleaned
1 can root beer
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp. Barbecue Rub, Recipe Follows
2 cups your favorite BBQ Sauce
Pop the tab off the root beer. Using a church key style can opener make some more holes around the edge of the top of the can. (I didn't have one so I used a hammer and the end of a sharp knife.. it was a little dangerous so try to get a can opener)
Set up the grill for indirect grilling - I have a gas grill so I turned on the left side burners and placed my chook on the opposite side.
Use a drip pan if you have one, there are good disposable ones in the grocery store, I didn't have one so I created my own pan with a double layer of Aluminium Foil (See the picture)
Remove and discard any other pieces in the cavity of the chicken. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities.
Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water, drain, and blot dry inside and out with paper towel.
Loosen the skin from off the body of the chicken by gently sliding your fingers in between the skin and meet. This will create a great added flavor cavity for you to use.
Lightly coat the chicken with olive oil.
Sprinkle the chook cavity with 2 teaspoons of the dry rub.
Set aside 2 tsp of your rub. With remaining dry rub apply it to the outside of the chicken, making sure you are thorough. (Yes it's gross but good food is worth getting your hands dirty)
Put some rub also under the skin, careful not to tear it.
Spoon your 2 tsps of rub in the root beer can. Don't worry if it foams up, this is normal. Insert the can into the body cavity of the chicken and spread out the legs to form a sort of tripod. Tuck the wings tips behind the chicken's back. You might need help in inserting the can.. my 6 year old thought it was the coolest and most funny thing ever!
When you are ready to cook, stand the chicken up in the center of your drip pan on the opposite side of your running gas burners. If using charcoal grill, toss some wood chips on the coals.
Cover your grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked to an internal temperature of 180 Degrees F. About 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 depending on the size of your bird.
Monitor it closely you do not want to over cook this juicy bird!
I had to rotate my chicken about half way through to get all sides evenly crispy. A good sign it was done was when the juices in the pan were coming out clear.
Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken. You might need help removing the can. One person holding the can with tongs and the other sliding off the chicken.
Allow it to rest before carving it up. Serve it with your BBQ sauce, I also served it with some grilled bacon and button mushrooms. (See Recipe to follow.)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 tbsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper