Primitive-Style Beer Can Chicken
Submitted by Micheal Armes, Executive Chef, Hound Ears Golf Club, Boone, N.C.
Yield: 2 servings
1 4-to-5 lb. whole chicken
1/4 lb. ramp compound butter (recipe below)
1 can IPA or favorite beer
small bundle fresh thyme
1 tbsp. fleur de sel
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
• First, allow chicken to come close to room temperature (15 to 20 minutes). Then take 1/3 of the compound butter and rub the inside cavity of the chicken. Lightly season the interior of the cavity and place the thyme inside.
• Take the remaining 2/3 of the compound butter and place under the skin all over the chicken, with a heavy emphasis on the breast. Season the outside of the chicken.
• Place the beer can (minus 1/3 to 1/2 of the beer) in the cavity of the chicken. Tie the chicken with wings tucked under, sitting almost cross-legged. Place on handled cast-iron, griddle-style pan.
• Build a seasoned hardwood fire and after you have good coals, place the bird on a stone platform between 12 and 24 inches from the edge of the fire. Every five minutes or so, use tongs to give the bird a 1/4 turn. Adjust the distance of the bird from the fire as necessary, paying close attention to the skin color.
• After about 30 to 40 minutes, check the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it rises to 165-170º, turn the chicken on its back with its neck facing the fire, allowing the skin on the neck area to achieve a golden to darker brown.
• Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove can and carve.
For the Ramp Compound Butter:
1 lb. unsalted butter
2 lbs. ramps, cleaned and washed
2 tbsp. Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp. bourbon
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
pinch cane sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
• Take 1 lb. of the ramps, season them, then grill lightly. Take the greens off of the other pound of ramps and carbonize them in a hot oven until they’re super-dark and crisp, but not burned.
• Take the ramps, parsley, bourbon, vinegar, sugar and salt, and place them in a food processor. Blend thoroughly.
• When you have a smooth paste, add the butter to the processor. Thoroughly blend together, scraping down the sides with a spatula several times.