Drunken chicken
Drunken chicken
Rating: (1 rated)
Recipe Yield: Total time: About 2 hours, plus brining time | Serves 8 to 12
2 tablespoons yellow whole mustard seeds 6 (12-ounce) bottles amber ale 1/2 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup maple syrup 4 sprigs rosemary, chopped 3 (4-pound) whole chickens 1/2 cup ground sweet paprika 2 tablespoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon onion powder 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sage 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Step 1 Toast the mustard seeds in a small skillet over medium-low heat just until they start to pop, 2 to 3 minutes. Place in a large nonreactive container with the ale, salt, maple syrup and rosemary, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add the chickens, placing a plate over the chickens to weigh them down in the container so they stay submerged in the brine, and cover. Refrigerate the chickens overnight.

Step 2 The next day, remove the chickens from the brine and brush off any mustard seeds or rosemary bits. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, sage and cumin to create a rub.

Step 3Lay the chickens, breast-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or cutting board. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the rub over each chicken, and begin to massage the rub all over the surface of each chicken. Flip the chickens over and sprinkle over a little more rub, massaging it into the skin. The rub will stain the skin of the chickens a rich reddish-orange as it is rubbed on. Once the chickens are rubbed, sprinkle a teaspoon or so of additional rub into the cavity of each chicken. Fit each chicken over an empty beer can, chicken rack or stand.

Step 4Prepare a grill for indirect cooking, and heat so the temperature registers around 350 degrees. Carefully place the chickens on the grill rack, away from direct heat. Cook the chickens until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 11/2 hours. The chicken can also be cooked in a 350-degree oven; place a drip pan on a rack underneath the chickens to catch juices.

Step 5Cool the chickens slightly, then carefully remove the cans or racks. Cut the chickens as desired and serve immediately.

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