Food / Beer Recipes
Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to Grill Beer Can Chicken

Written by Ryan Ranspach

How to Grill Beer Can Chicken

When I first heard about Beer Can Chicken (back home, years ago), I thought it was a joke. How and why would someone try to cook a chicken on top of a beer can? It just seemed unnecessary and a waste of beer. Even so, some friends and I tried it in college a couple times but with pretty terrible results. Pulling it off requires fairly legitimate grilling skills and patience, two things we had neither of then. I have since learned to cook and have what I would consider above average grilling skills, but I still had pretty much disregarded Beer Can Chicken as a silly novelty. Then my good friend, the owner of Black Dog Farms in southern Ingham County, approached me ealier this year to help organize a summer barbecue. Included on the menu along with smoked pork shoulder, ribs, sausages, delicious sides, and plenty of beer was Beer Can Chicken. I agreed and admitted my ineptness in regards to the final dish, but that I was certainly willing to help.

Ryan Fishing in Costa Rica

Once, on a charter fishing boat in Costa Rica, my guide observed of me, "He drink beer, he go to sleep. He wake up, he drink more beer!", and he was right--put it on my luggage. I also like to eat tacos, and I ate a lot of them on that trip. Pork, carne asada, chicken, chorizo, whatever you've got...add some warm corn shells, beans & rice, fresh cilantro, a lime wedge, and a few cold beers and there aren't many things better. The more South American and Carribean food I eat, the more I fall in love with the techniuque of "braising", which is initially searing meat at a high temperature then letting it slowly cook in a covered pot with a variable amount of moisture.

How to Make Chili Using Espresso and Giant Slayer Russian Imperial Stout

It is difficult to find solace and inner-peace in the afterglow of the holidays. A day or two after New Year's, one starts thinking about the challenges, new directives, and TPS Reports that lie ahead--it can shake a man loose if he's not careful. So for a final sendoff of the holiday season, I travelled to my Spiritual Advisor's house and set to work on planning a large and decadent pot of chili. I am not and have never claimed to be well-versed in chili. I enjoy eating it a few times a year, namely at out annual chili-themed tailgate in the fall, but I play no real role in the production of the dish at this event. Simply, I am no expert at the stuff.

Potato Leek Soup made with Brewery Vivant's Farmhand Ale

With harvest season now officially passed, it is time to start either canning or using the last round of potatoes, onions, and other subterranean vegetables from the garden. It is no secret that all these kinds of produce are great in soups and other comfort foods. The short, cold days of late autumn can be taxing on a person's disposition, and nothing warms the belly & soul like a rich pot of soup. The world of soup is virtually infinite but one of my favorites, especially this time of year, is potato leek soup. We all know plenty about potatoes but the leek may remain a bit mysterious to some--Allium ampeloprasum is in the same family as onions and garlic but grows in a long sheath rather than a tight bulb like its cousins. Leeks are an extremely hardy plant preferring sandy soil and can grow rather tall. When harvested for use, the long green stalks must be removed and the white cylinder at the bottom should be sliced lengthwise and cleaned thoroughly, as the way it grows allows for a significant amount of dirt and sand to collect there (here is a short video showing how to clean and prep them).

How to make a cheesesteak while using New Holland's Four Witches Black Saison

Everyone loves a good cheesesteak, even if they don't even know they do. Originating in the City of Brotherly Love, the cheesesteak sandwich has found its way onto the menu of just about every bar and greasy spoon in the country. There are many different styles of course. The original, as defined on it's wikipedia page, is "meat thinly sliced rib-eye or top round, although other cuts of beef are also used, lightly oiled griddle at medium temperature, the steak slices are quickly browned and then scrambled into smaller pieces with a flat spatula. Slices of cheese are then placed over the meat, letting it melt, and then the roll is placed on top of the cheese. The mixture is then scooped up with a spatula, pressed into the roll, and cut in half."

How to make Lasagna with New Holland's Golden Cap Saison

Marinate chicken in the beer, Italian seasoning (2 tbs), the juice of 1 lime and 2 cloves crushed garlic for 1-2 hours. In the mean time, heat 1 pint cream to a simmer and reduce heat. slowly whisk in 2 cups of fontina and 1 cup parm till smooth (be careful not to burn), add garlic powder and white pepper to taste. remove from heat and set aside. Add the sweat red onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, add diced red pepper and cook till just tender on medium heat (about 5 min). Transfer to bowl. Return pan to med-high heat, brown chicken thighs. Combine peppers onions and chicken. In a medium sized bowl combine ricotta, spinach, egg, Italian seasoning (1tbs), 1/3rd of the prosciutto (chopped) (reserve enough for one layer in your pan) , 1 cup parm. Open can of tomato sauce.

How to Make a Sweet & Spicy Grilling Sauce using Arbor Brewing's Strawberry Blonde

My aunt recently gave me some "exxxcellent" grilling sauce, and I was inspired to attempt a clone of it. What I concocted wasn't as good, but was this tangy, tasty, fairly easy recipe for a sweet & spicy grilling sauce using Arbor Brewing's Strawberry Blonde, a Belgian style ale available during the summer months. This beer is brewed with real strawberries and has strong notes of spice, citrus, and coriander. It is a perfect pairing for tangy, spicy, grilled dishes and works perfect as the base for sauce.

How to make Beer Cheese Soup using Frankenmuth's Batch 69 IPA

I had a strong lust for beer cheese soup recently. There are hundreds of recipes online for it and most of them are boring & bland, calling for watery beer with very little character or flavor. Sifting through some of them, I found a workable one from the Food Network's website and altered it to my taste. Also, since this is a very German-American recipe, I thought it fitting to use one of Frankenmuth Brewery's beers. Any of them would probably taste great, but I had some of their Batch 69 IPA in the fridge, so we set to work with that.

How to make a Chicken or Seafood Marinade with Frankenmuth's Batch 69 IPA

This is a quick, easy, and delicious beer marinade you can use for chicken and seafood (we used chicken breast tenders and raw shrimp) on the grill. I made mine with Frankenmuth Brewery's Batch 69 IPA. You can use any beer for this recipe, but I found that the IPA really stuck to the delicate meat and added a lot of flavor.

How to Make a Grilled Pizza using Arcadia's Sky High Rye

Beer and Pizza.  What's better??  Now that it's grilling season (and it's always beer & pizza season), it's time to grill pizza....and drink beer.  Grilling pizza is tricky, but If you get it right the crust is even crispier and flakier than in the oven and the toppings take on a smoky flavor that I just love.  To add a layer of delicious to this, I thought I might saute the vegetables in an Arcadia Sky High Rye/chicken stock mixture.  The beer adds the perfect amount of gentle bitterness and the stock adds just the right amount savory richness. Add a little pepperoni and fresh mozzarella and you're ready to go.
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