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james 12-12-2005 03:55 PM

Vertical Chicken
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I tried the upright chicken last night, and it was great. In doing so, I understand that Robert did this first, a while ago, and that I will owe him royalities on the idea for years to come. I found a stand that lets you slide a beer can into the cavity of the bird, so the chicken roasts on the outside, while the beer steams on the inside. I put a lemon wedge in the neck of the chicken to hold the steam in, and lemon juice and herbs in the beer can, leaving it about half full.

The oven was about 550F when I started. I covered the upper part of the chicken after a while when I saw it was going too brown too fast.

Overall, crisp on the outside, nicely baked (which meets the requirements of my wife) and very moist -- not dried out at all. This will be a standard recipe for us from now on. The only problem is that it is really embarassing for the chicken.

If you can't find a stand locally, I bought a number of them, and can ship you one.

Now on to the Gratin recipes.


vitoduke 12-13-2005 06:40 AM

Hi James-- The chicken looks great. We've been doing the chicken that way for years on the BBQ. They always come out juicy. About how long did you cook it? We once did six of them at one time and that was pretty odd looking. THANKS--Mel

james 12-13-2005 09:33 AM

Hi Mel,

The oven was 550F when I started and it took about an hour. If I had put the foil on at the start, and removed it toward the end, the bird would have been a more evenly brown.

Your oven could hold about 6 vertical chickens, plus the gratin potatoes and a veggie platter. A feast.

I am also experimenting with a cast iron grill pan. More to come on that.


Robert Musa 12-13-2005 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by james
I understand that Robert did this first, a while ago, and that I will owe him royalities on the idea for years to come.

just send me your wings and we'll call it even. ;) eva and i have now done (conservative estimate) at least 20 chickens this way, each one better than the last. a couple of of the things we have learned:

1. err on the side of a hot oven but the temp isn't critical (we've cooked them at wall temp's (3 bricks up from floor) ranging from 550 to 750).

2. cover completely with foil at the beginning but try to keep the foil from touching the chicken to the extent possible.

3. it appears that as long as the foil is on, it is impossible to overcook the chicken. we've tried, its impossible. we keep extending our cooking time to no ill effect. we now generally allow at least 90 minutes. the longer it cooks, the more the flesh falls away from the bone (on the platter), but it always stays moist. better to cook too long than not long enough. take the foil off after its finished to brown up (throw some kindling on to get a few flames - about 15 minutes). you must watch the chicken constantly during the browning phase, turning as necessary.

4. we always put the holder onto a pan; never directly on the oven floor. many of the chicken holder thingees will fit perfectly into a 9 inch cake pan.

aikitarik 12-14-2005 12:56 PM

We've done this one on the grill a number of times.. I like to use a tall can of guinness... never tried the grill rack though, just the beer can and the chicken legs like a tripod. That rack looks much more stable.

helenb 12-18-2005 05:23 PM

chicken recipe
The upright chicken sounds great. Can you tell me more .. do you add herbs to the beer? What does the beer do?


jengineer 12-19-2005 02:13 PM

Tell me more - Ans option 1
It is really as Tarik has described. On my virtual pompeii I use crushed garlic, fresh ground pepper, I go outside and pull off some sweet basil chop it up add a touch of rosemary (wash it and lightly crush it to get the oils flowing). I rub both the inside and the outside of the bird. The beer must stay in the can (otherwise in a bbq it just drains all over the burner or n your oven it will rapidly change state (steam). Some of the newer can openers (manual) will actually remove the whole top of the beer. Or you can carefully decant the beer into a temparary glass (a few sips for the cook) and then with a sharp pair of scissors you can cut the can (you can't do that with cans of our youth) pour the beer back and stuff into the cavity of the fowl. Wrap the bird up as Moose Musa has described and cook as he so aptly described. As the bird cooks the beer flavor will difuse through the carcass.

mmmmm makes my mouth water as i type this.

ptf aka joe engineer

james 12-20-2005 04:56 PM

3 more upright chickens -- excellent
I think Joe has it spot on. I poured out about half the beer, and added herbs and garlic and used scissors top open up the top of the beer can. That's the source of steam and flavor on the inside of the bird. I did a dry rub on the outside, then covered the birds with foil.

We did three last night for a party, and it worked great. Following Robert's lead, one thing I like is that you have a lot of wiggle room where the chicken is done, and still moist. The oven was still 700F when I started, and I left them in for over an hour, and they weren't close to dry. Chicken is a regular oven is either pink or dry -- it's impossible to get it just right.

The stand I found has metal legs that hold the chicken upright, and a round holder for the beer can.

I put them right on the floor again and the sizzle smelled great.

When they were done, I re-fired the oven back to pizza heat and made flat bread for the meal. The floor got hot and came clean.


Inishta 03-12-2008 12:10 AM

Re: Vertical Chicken
I'm firing the oven up in a couple of hours and Waynes chicken picture has persuaded me to have a go at it.

I found this thread but the problem is............I don't have a stand thingy. If I follow the advice re. herbs, rub, lemon etc will the bird remain upright if I just insert a can in the jacksie...........:p

Also there is a grave shortage of Guinness, which I would undoubtedly prefer, and the sole option is lager I assume that is normal cooking medium.

Sorry for the short notice but I've just got to give it a go!


Xabia Jim 03-12-2008 12:33 AM

Re: Vertical Chicken
Beer Butt Chicken....any beer will do!

Frances might even use her cider.

It's the steam you want...maybe the alcohol helps though!

Good luck

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