1. Prepare the grill: Only turn on half of your burners, we want to cook the chicken slowly.
2. Season: Remove neck and giblets from cavity of chicken if the chicken came with them. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, thyme, and lemon zest in a little bowl, and rub it all over the chicken.
3. Lower chicken onto half-filled cider can: Make sure the cider can is open, and only half-filled with cider (reserve the other half, resist the urge to drink it!) It would not hurt to put a couple of sprigs of thyme and some lemon pieces in the can to give the insides some extra flavour.
Lower the chicken on to the open can, so that the chicken is sitting upright, with the can in its’ cavity.
4. Grill on indirect heat: Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill, using the legs and can as a tripod to support the chicken on the grill and keep it stable.
Cover the grill and walk away. You will not have to check the chicken for at least an hour. After an hour, take the remaining cider and pour a little over the chicken to baste. Do this a couple times until you use up the cider.
Check the chicken every 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F. The total cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken, and the internal temperature of the grill. A 4-pound chicken will usually take around 1 1/2 hours.
5. Carefully transfer the chicken to a tray or pan:
I say “carefully” because the can, and the cider inside of it, is quite hot. One way to do this is to slide a metal spatula under the bottom of the beer can. Use tongs to hold the top of the chicken.
*Optional garnish* sauté ½ cup of sliced onions in butter and add the liquids from the cider can. Cook on medium high and reduce the liquid by half. Add 3 tablespoons of butter off the heat and stir until melted. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. ENJOY!
October 21, 2022