Best. Chicken. Ever.
No, seriously. At least it's the best chicken I've ever had. Not sure about your chicken eating habits and moments of poultry elation, but this is my favorite preparation. I've made this a few times now and never had an issue with how it's turned out, this leads me to believe that it's foolproof. Which is awesome. I beg you to try this at least once this grilling season, I promise chickeny joy, busting bellies & rave reviews from the lucky people who get to eat it with you.
Honey Crisp Cider Can Chicken: (could feed 4 normal people, but if you're like me, 2-3)
One 4-5 lb. whole chicken, giblets and such removed if not already
One empty 12 oz. can
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. freshly ground pink pepper
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
2 bay leaves
1) Wash your chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry. In a small bowl, rub together
the salt, peppers, thyme, and lemon zest. Coat the chicken with oil and rub the mixture
onto the chicken, making sure to get under the legs and wings. Allow to sit at room
temperature for about 30 minutes.
2) Preheat the grill part way through the chicken hanging out on the counter. See note below.
3) Fill the empty can with 6 oz. cider, I'd recommend not using a larger can with this size
chicken because it will sit too high and become wobbly. A turkey however...well, that's a
thing to try out next fall :) Shove the can with approximately the amount of things pictured
directly below. 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, tsp. each whole peppercorns, some lemon
zest, and I even threw in a couple allspice berries.
4) Now gracefully plop your chicken down on top of the can, moving it around until it's nice and
snug. She's all ready for the grill! (or oven). Do the best you can to carefully position the
bird soundly on the rack. Close the grill and walk away for the first hour. No peeking!
I promise it will be ok. Same goes for oven prep.
5) After the first hour, check the bird every 15 minutes until it reaches and internal temperature
of 160/165 in the breast and 180ish in the thigh. *If you don't have a thermometer, buy one.
It is really the best way to get an accurate idea of whether or not your meat is done.* Once
it's reached the temp, carefully pull the bird off (keep in mind there is molten hot liquid that
might be seeping out its rear), allow to rest 10 minutes and then eat until you can't eat any
** If you're working with coals: the chicken will need to cook over indirect, med-high heat,
so arrange the coals accordingly. If you have a gas grill: make sure to only ignite the burners
so the chicken won't be directly over them, med-high heat/350. You can also do this in the
oven, in a roasting pan, lower rack, uncovered at 350. **
Mrs. Chicken after the first hour
Served the chicken alongside some oven roasted fingerlings & arugula, green bean, fennel salad with shallot vinaigrette, they went together beautifully!
Demolished! Poor bird never stood a chance against our hungry bellies and eyes. Try it, it really is easy and you will not be disappointed. It comes out with crispy, amazingly tasty skin and the meat is so moist and flavorful; it is chicken heaven in its simplest form, uncomplicated and delicious.
Go, now, away with you! You're off to the store to buy chicken and cider!