Every fall, right around the time the University of Texas faces Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown, Independence Brewing Co. repackages some of its Austin Amber beer into burnt orange cans for a limited release called Oklahoma Suks.
The annual showdown goes down Saturday, and Independence Brewing’s Max Saballett shared his spin on the beer can chicken. He uses both a marinade and a rub, a one-two punch whose salty-sweet succulent rewards are many.
I baked this chicken, but you also could grill or smoke it according to your preferred whole chicken-cooking technique. Just don’t forget the beer in the cavity of the bird. It really helps keep the meat moist during the shorter stint in the high heat. At the same time, letting the skin dry out for a few hours in the fridge after marinating will help keep it crispy.
Beer Can Chicken
For the dry rub:
1 Tbsp. sea salt or kosher salt
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. celery salt
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. coarsely grated black pepper
For the marinade:
1/2 spice mixture (above)
3 oz. freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can amber beer, such as Austin Amber (Oklahoma Suks, if you can find it), divided
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to coat
3 to 5 lb. whole chicken, organic if possible
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 peeled tangerine or orange
Blend the spices together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture in half. Use part of the mixture for the marinade and the other to coat the chicken before roasting.
Mix together the marinade ingredients and put in a large marinating bag or deep dish. Marinate chicken (covered, if using a dish) for an hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven or grill to 375 degrees. Place the remaining 1/2 can of beer in the center of a deep baking dish or roasting pan. (Use a baking sheet if your pan is on the smaller side.) Slip the chicken on top of the can, using its legs as a tripod, so it will stand up straight. Stuff the fresh herbs and citrus into the neck cavity, rub chicken with oil and coat with remaining spice mixture and roast for about 45 minutes, checking to ensure the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest 7 to 10 minutes before serving.
— From Independence Brewing’s Max Saballett