Chicken is one of the most popular meats in the United States, and for good reason. It’s relatively inexpensive, it’s tasty, and it can be prepared in a variety of unique (and delicious) ways. Here are some of the more unusual ways to prepare a chicken dinner that are sure to wow your guests and your family, too.
The Beer Can Chicken
Grilled chicken is an American classic, but as many home cooks have discovered, it can be difficult to keep a chicken juicy and moist when exposed to this dry heat. If you want to keep your chicken moist, there’s an innovative idea.
After removing the giblets, marinate your chicken with herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil for at least four hours. Then, open your favorite can of beer, take a couple swigs, and insert the mostly-full can into the cavity. You’ll likely need a “stand” to hold your chicken up – it will quite literally sit upon the beer can – and place it over your barbecue pit for about an hour. The result is a delicious moist chicken that you’ll have to taste to believe. You can make this recipe your own by adding your favorite barbeque sauce for the last 15 to 30 minutes of the cooking time, too.
Rock Salt Chicken
When you think of rock salt, chances are good that you think of the salt you buy from your local home improvement store for melting the ice off your sidewalk, or the stuff you buy in the grocery store for making ice cream. That very same ice cream salt provides an excellent opportunity to roast a whole chicken, too.
Gather up about four pounds of rock salt and pour it into a 9×13 baking dish. Put your chicken on top of the salt, then season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Cut your lemon in half, and insert this along with some whole garlic cloves and sprigs of herbs into the chicken cavity, then seal it off with toothpicks. After roasting at 400 degrees breast-side up for 40 minutes, flip the chicken over and roast for another 45 minutes, or until done. You’ll notice a juicy, flavorful chicken with a crispy, light skin.
Finally, if beer cans and rock salt don’t suit your fancy, you might opt to try this brick chicken recipe. It allows you to cook a whole chicken in about half the time it takes to roast it, and you’ll get succulent skin with perfectly moist breasts.
To do it, you’ll need a large cast iron skillet and a heavy brick wrapped in tinfoil. Butterfly the chicken by cutting out the backbone, then salt and pepper it liberally before pressing herbs onto the skin for flavor. Place the chicken snugly into a very hot cast iron skillet, and tuck the legs in, if necessary, so that as much of the chicken contacts the bottom of the pan as possible. Put bricks on top of the chicken, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook it for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, flip the chicken over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until it reaches a temperature of at least 165 degrees.
These chicken recipes are certainly unusual, but they all accomplish the very same things – a chicken dinner that is delicious, moist, and completely flavorful. Give them a try in your restaurant or for your family, and you’ll soon see why so many people are reaching for beer cans, bricks, and even boxes of rock salt when it comes to cooking a chicken.