My boyfriend wanted to make beer can chicken for our friend’s birthday barbecue. Rather than the usual barbecue rub, we went with something a bit different. But to say it’s simply “Asian” is kinda vague. It’s more of a Beer Can Chicken with a Southeast Asian Twist as the flavour profile leans towards the delicate balance of sweet, sour and salty that is common to Vietnamese and Thai cuisine. This all comes from the magical combination of brown sugar (sweet), lime juice (sour) and fish sauce (salty). (Think beyond ginger and soy sauce, my friends!) The three ingredients are blended together with a generous portion of chopped garlic and red chilli, and then cooked down to a thick paste for glazing the chicken as it cooks. Of course, one of the joys of cooking, as opposed to baking, is that you can adjust the ingredients to taste without any dire consequences. For more mouth puckering sourness, I am considering adding tamarind to the sauce next time…mmm.
We served the chicken with cilantro, green onions and lime wedges. And bread. Lots of bread.
Beer Can Chicken with Sweet-Sour-Salty Glaze
Salt, garlic powder
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 can of 300ml beer
For the sauce
4 to 5 limes, halved and juiced
2 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 or 2 red chilies, optional
Handful of green onions and cilantro
Prep the chicken by rubbing it with vegetable oil, making sure to get all the crooks and crannies, with special attention paid to the cavity. Rub with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and allow the chicken to come to room temperature.
To make the sauce, add the lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, chopped garlic and chilies in a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a small pan and reduce over medium heat until it thickens to a paste. Set aside.
Pre-heat the oven or barbecue grill to 350 F.
Open the can of beer and empty half of the content out (preferably by drinking it), and carefully lower the chicken cavity unto the can so that it’s sitting up. Transfer the chicken to roasting tray and place it in the oven or barbecue grill to cook for about an 1 hour 15 minutes. At the 30 minutes mark, take out the chicken and glaze it with the sauce. Return it to the oven/grill and let cook until golden. The chicken will be done once the juice runs clear.