Independence Day Menu: Italian Beer-Can Chicken

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Looking for 4
th of July party ideas or a perfect summer meal? Celebrate with an Italian twist on a Southern favorite: Beer Can Chicken on a charcoal grill! Chef Fabio offers plenty of tips to help you make this drunken whole chicken stand on its own!

Culinary tips:

-Charcoal separators are inexpensive, and worth every penny! By allowing you to control where the hot coals go, the separators help you create an oven-like chamber with even, radiant heat, instead of a direct flame.
-Always rinse your chicken with water and dry it completely, both inside and out: after all, nothing sticks to a wet chicken!
-The beer creates flavorful steam from the inside, while the fire roasts the chicken perfectly from the outside. Experiment with flavor combinations in both the rub and the can!
-Chop your herbs and lemon to a small dice to fit inside the can's narrow opening. You can also cut off the entire top of the can, if you'd prefer.
-An herb brush is an easy way to add extra flavor each time you baste your chicken!
-Be sure to let your chicken rest for at least five minutes after cooking so that the meat absorbs all of the juices. Otherwise, all of the flavor could end up on your cutting board!

Try this Italian twist on a Southern favorite this summer!Try this Italian twist on a Southern favorite this summer!

Recipe by Fabio Viviani
Yield: 4-6 servings

1 3-4 pound whole chicken
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
½ lemon, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 sprigs of oregano, plus 1 sprig for basting
2-3 sprigs of basil, plus 1 sprig for basting
1 can of beer (use your favorite!)

Preheat the grill to 350°F, placing the charcoal in metal separators, one on each side of the grill.
Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken and set aside for another recipe, or discard.
Wash the chicken inside and out and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Wash the beer can, too!
Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature and air dry for 30 minutes.
Rub the outside of the chicken with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
Open the beer and take a few big sips, or just pour about half of it out if you're not thirsty.
Stuff the lemon, garlic and fresh herbs into the beer can.
Place the can onto a clean, flat surface and grab the bird by the legs.
Shove the chicken's cavity onto the beer can, until it creates a tripod with the two legs.
Place the chicken in the center of the grill, so that it is surrounded by charcoal, but not sitting directly over it.
Bunch the remaining herb sprigs into an herb brush, securing with twine or aluminum foil.
Roast for 60-90 minutes, or until the juices run clear, basting with olive oil every 20 minutes or so.
Remove from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.
Discard the beer can and carve the chicken.

Like this dish? Check out these other GRILLING and OUTDOOR PARTY recipes from Chow Ciao!
Balsamic Baby-Back Ribs
Grilled Rack of Lamb
Fabio's Burgers and Dogs
Fabio's Cold Pasta Salad
Caesar Salad