Beer in the butt chicken

November 8, 2007

For this recipe you’ll need one chicken, one can of beer, one terracotta flowerpot and one barbecue.

First, open the can of beer. Drink about a third of the can and place it on the as yet unheated hotplate of your barbecue.

Then, take your chicken. For this I recommend a size 16 free range chicken (the happiest of chickens).

Next, stick the beer can up its butt, open end uppermost. Hence, beer in the butt chicken. This can often times make your guests wince in some kind of chicken-loving sympathy. Ignore them and get that can of beer in there no matter how … organic it sounds.

Place the chicken on the hotplate resting on the beer can so it stands there in an amusing manner. Feel free to imagine the chicken with a little bowtie on. I always do. It helps to have a second can of beer in hand at this point, although this is not obligatory. Here, like this:

chicken (sans bowtie)

That’s right. She’s a dancin’ chicken.

Right, next step, place the terracotta pot over the top of the chicken and turn on the heat. Should take about two hours to cook, during which time there’s not much to do (resist the urge to check the chicken. Resist!) except drink beer. Oh, I suppose you could make the salad, but what are the odds?

Finally, when the time is up, raise the pot (beware the wave of heat/smoke from the chicken) and you should have a succulent, moist, cooked chicken (still standing amusingly on its beer can or, if you’ve let things go too long, falling apart around the can. Either way is fine – it’s still moist and succulent). You can check it in the usual manner: stick a pin in it and if it bleeds or squeals, it’s not quite ready.

The fun part now begins – no, not the eating. That’s next. First you have to remove the can (which is aluminium and therefore rather HOT) from the cavity. Good luck with that.

Finally you can slice, rip, rend, tear and devour the bird. Yum.

There will be naysayers around who suggest the cooking of the bird in such a way will infuse it with carcinogenic bits of beer can. I encourage this as it stops them from eating too much and leaves you free to scoff the lot.

Down here, summer’s a comin’ in. Yes, it’s soon to be barbecue season again. Crank ’em up!


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So part of my corporate job (not to be confused with my corporeal job) is to take journalists to lunch in fancy restaurants.

Yes, I know.

Yesterday my boss and I took a journo to The Grove restaurant in central Auckland. Note to The Grove folk, your website doesn’t show up in a Google of grove restaurant auckland… fortunately all the reviews that do show up are great.

I like The Grove, and not just because I can see the Herald’s offices from the window so I can shout and jeer and cross myself and spit a lot (although I do) but because the food is great and the staff are wonderful.

For instance, yesterday I ordered an entree of: Tortellini of goats curd and chives, smoked beetroot, baby peas, beetroot stock.

By the gods it was good.

But this is not a skite posting (for those unfamiliar with the term, to skite is to show off your good fortune (and luck really is a factor in all of this)). This is a posting to tell you all that the waitress brought us our drinks, told us about the specials and then said “And we have a number of Mercedes cars with drivers ready to take you back to work after your meal” which quite frankly is the best marketing I’ve seen in ages.

Sure enough, after a fabulous meal we were shown to the door where Georgie recognised both my boss and myself from Another Time and promptly ushered us towards a new E-class Merc.

You know in the movies when the billionaire bad guy walks towards his limo and the door is opened by a gorgeous female driver wearing the hat and jacket..? Yeah, that’s the one. She was there, in our car. Serious.

And she has a sense of humour, so after we started talking about the cars (I have some familiarity with the new C-Class AMG (WARNING: multimedia website) which is a car I would own (y’know, if I had $90k to drop on a car) and the awesomely lickable AMG CLS 63 (514 Brake Horsepower, $250k, forward facing radar…. good god, that car is gorgeous) I showed her how to turn off the traction control (well, as much as the Merc will let you) and she offered to “lay a patch” outside the office. But it was a bit wet so we declined.

Kudos to Mercedes and their PR team for thinking that one up. Kudos to The Grove for making it happen and kudos to me for picking The Grove for lunch. Made a wet Wednesday worth while.