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Author Notes: Well, you hardly need a recipe for this. I usually make two on a lovely summer Sunday while sitting outside, ideally with a cocktail. The spice rub can, of course be changed up - when making two I usually do one as noted below and the other with a different Middle Eastern slant - you don't need me - just use your favorite. - Canned
Serves 2 (with leftovers) to 4
- 1 3 1/2 lb. chicken
- 1 lemon, halved (preferably Meyer)
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon lavender
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon lavender
- 1 can of beer
- Make a brine by dissolving salt in 2 quarts cold water in large container. I find the easiest way to do this is add the salt to the container and about 1 inch of hot water, dissolve the salt by stirring briskly and then add the cold water.
- Lower the chicken into the salted water and brine, refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Remove chicken from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.
- Turn all burners on gas grill and pre-heat until hot as can be. If using charcoal - and, yes, I know that is better - light the coals.
- Grind the peppercorns, lavender and fennel in a spice grinder and massage spice rub all over chicken, inside and out. Lift up skin over breast and rub spice rub directly onto meat. Stick the rosemary sprigs, crunched up, into the cavity.
- Open beer can and pour out (or drink) about 1/3 cup. With church key can opener, punch two more large holes in top of can (for a total of three). Slide chicken over can so that drumsticks reach down to bottom of can and chicken stands upright. Take one half of the lemon and cover the hole on top, pulling excess skin over the lemon if possible.
- Place chicken and beer can on the part of grill closest to front and balance the bird using the drumsticks as a tripod. Turn off first burner. Close lid and bring heat back to 350 degrees. Fiddle with grill controls so that you keep the bird at 350 degrees. I have three burners and it works with the first off, the middle on low-medium and the back one high. If you are using the better alternative - charcoal - I am afraid you are on your own.
- After 30 minutes rotate bird 180 degrees using wads of paper towels to help you. Roast bird about 60 minutes for a 3 1/2 lb. bird or until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees. Allow to rest for 15 minutes tented with foil. Remove carefully from the beer can - a job sometimes best done over the sink - and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken