Drunken Chicken

Drunken Chicken

Andrew Berndt / Getty Images

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Resting Time: 8 mins
Total: 68 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
464 Calories
23g Fat
5g Carbs
48g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 464
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 158mg 53%
Sodium 1880mg 82%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 48g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 443mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This beer can chicken recipe (aka beer butt chicken, chicken on a throne, and dancing chicken) adds crab boil and Cajun seasoning to the beer, making this whole chicken even more tender and flavorful—with a little kick.

The idea behind beer can cooking is that as the chicken is cooked under indirect grilling, the open beer placed in the bird's cavity will add moisture and steam the meat from the inside, adding flavor. Many regions, including Louisiana and Memphis, Tennessee, have attempted to take credit for originating this style of cooking.

This simple, four-ingredient recipe is a set-it-on-the-grill-and-forget-it (at least for 45 to 60 minutes) kind of meal that can be served simply or gussied up with various sides.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Tear a piece of aluminum foil paper about 12 inches long. Fold in half and put on grill top, folding edges under grill to secure in place.

  3. Remove any excess fat or skin hanging from chicken, and rinse with cool water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season chicken well inside and out with Cajun seasoning. Make sure to get under skin of breast.

  4. Open can of beer and pour out 1 ounce of liquid—you can either drink it or discard it. Add liquid crab boil to beer. Separate chicken skin from neck area by pushing a finger between skin and meat. While holding pocket open, pour beer into pocket. Do this in several areas. A large injection needle also works well for doing this.

  5. Next, slide bottom-end of chicken over can of beer. While holding beer can and chicken, gently place on foil-covered grill. Close grill cover and cook for about 45 to 60 minutes or until juices run clear and chicken is done. The internal temperature must be 165 F in breast meat and 175 F in thigh area. 

  6. Once cooked, using heat-resistant gloves, carefully remove chicken from grill (still with beer can inserted) and place onto a large cutting board with a lip to collect any juices. 

  7. Remove beer can and loosely tent bird with aluminum foil. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes before carving. Reserve any juices from beer can and cutting board to make a pan sauce or gravy.