Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cider Can Chicken with roasted onions – undignified, but delicious!

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Photo by Hester Casey
On the booze - literally!

If you are a fan of roast chicken but haven’t yet tried this method, you are in for a real treat.

It is probably one of the most undignified ways of cooking a chicken but it’s a stunner. As the cider evaporates, fragrant steam permeates the flesh, keeping it juicy and flavouring it with garlic and whatever herbs you decide to use. I’ve used thyme today but rosemary is good too. Any cider that is left in the can after roasting gets tipped into the roasting tin to blend with the chicken juices for a lazy gravy. Couldn’t be simpler.  

Cider seems only to come in cans of 500mls here in Ireland. I keep a supply of clean empty 330ml coke or beer cans for this dish as they are the ideal size.

To feed four, you will need…
… to preheat the oven to 180˚C

100mls of cider
a generous bunch of fresh thyme (or about 6 sprigs of rosemary)
4 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 x 1.5kg chicken (free-range if your budget allows)
1 teaspoon sea salt
25g butter, melted and cooled
3 onions, peeled, keeping as much of the root intact as possible.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of salt

1.                  First, make sure the oven shelves are arranged to accommodate a chicken being cooked upright. Using a tin opener, cut the top off a 330ml aluminium beverage can. Handle with care – the cut edge can be very sharp. Pour the cider into the can. Add the sliced garlic and some of the fresh thyme. Place the can in a roasting dish.
2.                  Rub the chicken with the salt, and anoint with the melted butter. Keeping the can upright, insert it into the cavity of the chicken. Use the chicken legs to help balance it upright in the roasting tin. Poke any remaining thyme into the neck of the chicken.

Reminds me of Killiney Beach - brrrrrr
3.                  Place in the preheated oven and roast for an hour.
4.                  To prepare the onions, cut each into 6 wedges making sure each wedge has a little bit of root – this helps keep them intact while cooking. Toss them in the olive oil and sprinkle with the pinch of salt. When the chicken has been cooking for half an hour, add the onion wedges to the roasting tin.
5.                  After the cooking time has elapsed, carefully remove the chicken from the oven and cut the skin between the leg joint and the body. If it is still pink, return the chicken to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until there is no pink remaining.
6.                  Lay the chicken on its back so that any remaining cider spills into the roasting dish and mingles with the chicken juices. Carefully spoon or pour off the liquid into a small saucepan. Cover the chicken and let it ‘relax’ in a warm place for about 10 minutes. This ‘relaxing’ allows the juices which have boiled up to the surface of the meat to redistribute themselves, resulting in a more tender, succulent bird.
7.                  While the chicken is relaxing, gently simmer the saucepan of cider and chicken juices to concentrate the flavour. Transfer to a gravy boat just before serving.

Note: you could substitute beer or white wine for the cider. You could use chicken stock or unsweetened apple juice if you prefer an alcohol-free version.
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26 comments:

Catherine said...

Brrrrrrrr is right - that raw chicken has goosebumps! Have always wanted to try this - have cider, have chicken, have drool on my chin

Anonymous said...

I'd almost feel sorry for the chicken if it didn't taste do damn good!!!!!

Rosemary said...

Oooh, I think cider would be a nice addition. I've made it with beer, and loved the moistness. The chicken looks proud, wearing the herbs like a necklace!

Cucina49 said...

I've seen this done with beer, but cider sounds much better. Who needs dignity when you have a moist, tender chicken?

wok with ray said...

Oooh Cider! I love that idea and I like this way of cooking chicken, "Sitting Pretty" style. You are very creative, my friend. :)

Koci said...

This dish looks so comforting and yummy! I haven't made a nice roasted chicken in a long time. Cider sounds like a fantastic addition!

Lizzy Do said...

LOL at the chilly chicken...I look like that sometimes :) I've done this with beer, but cider sounds just as wonderful!

mike@the culinary lens said...

I cannot believe I never thought of doing this with cider.It is so much more fragrant than most beers..

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I've had beer can chicken, but never cider can chicken - I bet it's delicious. Pretty soon cider will be everywhere here in upstate NY.

Anne@FromMySweetHeart said...

Oh Hester...this looks scrumptious. I've seen similar recipes but have yet to try them myself. So golden and juicy...but the way you have him 'sitting' there looking at us...he's almost too cute to eat! : )

Guru Uru said...

Who needs dignified my friend, it looks absolutely utterly scrumptious :D

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

Cider sounds fantastic. I want to try this soon. I love a roast chicken dinner. It might be boring to some but I just love it.

Purabi Naha said...

I loved this idea. Fantastic! Going to share this on my Facebook page right now!

Grubarazzi said...

I am definitely trying this! It's pretty cute, actually. Undignified...maybe...cute...most certainly ;)

Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake said...

I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the chicken sitting upright, it's such a hilarious sight! But would totally love to try this recipe, the sound of it is enough to make me drool!

Zoe said...

My 3 years old will laugh if he sees our roast chicken in this "undignified" position and stuffed with so much thyme or rosemary... The way you use cider to roast this chicken sounds very effective to me! Got to try this one day :D

Happy that I found your blog and now following you via Twitter and blogger :D

Tiffany said...

Undignified? NEVER! That chicken looks great! Golden and beautiful!

Sawsan@chef in disguise said...

I have seen this methode over and over but I have yet to try it and the cider is a new touch..I look forward to trying it
I love the color of the cooked chicken too..looks amazing

Parsley Sage said...

That chicken is sitting up pretty straight for being drunk! He's doing better than I do after too much cider :)

Great recipe! My dad does a beer can chicken that's equally delicious and undignified.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I've never tried roasting chicken this way or any way! Maybe once I've roasted the entire chicken once, but that's about it. I know, I must try roasting and your recipe with cider sounds good. Very unexpected ingredients when it comes to roasting chicken!

Rev said...

lovely blog. Joined you!

Join me for some nice Indian recipes :)

firefoodie said...

I've seen this done with beer before, but I can see that cider would be far superior. Undignified alright. A dead chicken with a can stuffed up it's .... !

Meghan said...

Love this! I always wanted to try the beer can chicken, and it sounds a million times better with the cider! Going to have to try this!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Hester, I have heard of this "method", I personally have never prepared chicken this way but from the way you describe it, it sounds like the chicken will be moist and delicious! Cider and Chicken always make for such a wonderful combination.

Kim Bee said...

I love this post WAY too much. Hilarious. Yet delicious!

Jennifer Cote said...

So... uh... I guess you could say this chicken is "sitting on the can"? Now it REally sounds undignified! Poor chicken, but it sounds so good :)