Bean Butt Chicken

Yesterday morning, while leafing through Mastering the Grill (the #1 grilling cookbook in our house), Lucas and I discussed what to make for our Memorial Day dinner.  We’ve been throwing a lot of chicken boobs on the grill lately, so initially we leaned towards a different animal.  But the moment he said Bean Butt Chicken I was all over the idea.

Now, I’m not sure how the idea of inserting something up a chicken’s butt and then cooking it came about.  I can only imagine, kindly keep my thoughts to myself and then thank that certain freaky individual.  Beer, beans, whatever … it doesn’t matter.

While the outside of the chicken becomes nice and crispy from the heat of the grill, the inside gets steamy-moist and slightly sweet from the can of beans.  And the beans?  Well those nice little juices from the chicken drip down inside the can, infusing them with amazing flavors.  This truly is a delicious recipe and one that I highly recommend.

Although we don’t know how to follow a recipe to save our lives (more of this, more of that – always more, not less), here is the original recipe from Mastering the Grill:

1 chicken, about 4 pounds, washed and dried

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Fragrant Chile Rub (recipe below)

3 teaspoons canola oil

1 can (about 16 ounces) baked beans

1.  Heat the grill with a split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side with 20 replacement coals).

2.  Rub the chicken inside and out with 2 tablespoons chile rub, and rub the outside of the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the oil.

3.  Remove the label from the can of beans.  Open the can and stir 1 teaspoon of chile rub into the beans.   Coat the outside of the can with the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil.  Put on a plate or sturdy cooking sheet.  Lower the chicken on to the can, inserting the can into the internal cavity of the bird.  Position the chicken so that the legs form a tripod holding the chicken upright.

4.  Put the chicken and can on a grill away from the heat, cover the grill and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 170 degrees, about 1.5 hours.  Internal temperature gauge on grill should read 350.  Replenish charcoal after one hour, if needed.

5.  Transfer the chicken, still in the can, to a plate or tray, using tongs to hold the chicken and a spatula slipped under the can.  Holding the can with tongs and gripping the chicken with a towel or silicone grill mitts, twist and lift the chicken off the can.  Transfer to a carving board.  Let rest for 8 – 10 minutes; carve and serve with the beans.

Fragrant Chile Rub (combine all ingredients and rub it in):

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground ancho chile

1 to 3 teaspoons ground chipotle chile (3!)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


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