Labor Day!

Of course we all know that Labor Day is a day set aside to honor workers but if I was put on the spot that is all the information I would tell you. The United States Department of Labor has plenty of information about it on their web page which I copied:

Labor Day: How it Came About; What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Labor Day Legislation

Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

And of course in many parts of the U.S. today is a reason to cook out. While there are many different recipes out there, to me cookout says hamburger or chicken. Looking for recipes I came across a interesting one. Not that I am recommending it  but it is different. I have never heard of sticking a beer can inside a chicken. Of course some people say that any recipe that calls for the cook to drink ½ of a beer can’t be wrong. So from myrecipe.com here it is:

  • Chicken:
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer
  • 1 cup hickory wood chips
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • Cooking spray
  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant onion flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons steak sauce (such as A-1)
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

Open beer can; drink half. Carefully pierce top of beer can with “church-key” can opener several times; set aside. To prepare chicken, soak wood chips in water 1 hour. Combine salt, sugar, paprika, and pepper; set aside.

To prepare grill for indirect grilling, place a disposable aluminum foil pan in center of grill. Arrange charcoal around foil pan; heat to medium heat.

Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.

Rub 2 teaspoons spice mixture under loosened skin. Rub 2 teaspoons spice mixture in body cavity. Rub 2 teaspoons spice mixture over skin. Slowly add remaining spice mixture to beer can (salt will make beer foam). Holding chicken upright with the body cavity facing down, insert beer can into cavity.

Drain wood chips. Place half of wood chips on hot coals. Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Place chicken on grill rack over drip pan. Spread legs out to form a tripod to support the chicken. Cover and grill 2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into meaty portion of thigh registers 180°. Add remaining wood chips after 1 hour and charcoal as needed.

Lift chicken slightly using tongs; place spatula under can. Carefully lift chicken and can; place on a cutting board. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift chicken using tongs or insulated rubber gloves; carefully twist can and remove from cavity. Discard skin and can.

To prepare sauce, combine cola and remaining ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes. Cool. Serve with chicken.

Anyone ever try something like this? If so how does it work?  No matter what you cook I hope you have a great day!

- Leigh AAR

5 Responses to “Labor Day!”

  1. maggie b. says:

    I haven’t tried anything like this. I have cooked with beer before though and it can make a big difference in tenderizing the meat. Probably the best roast recipe I have calls for beer.

    I will grill the old American standard today- hamburgers. We had grilled chicken last night. :-)

  2. LinnieGaylAAR says:

    Maggie B, I would love your recipe for roast cooked with beer. I’ve added beer to chili recipes and it’s nice; and I don’t drink beer :)

    Leigh, that does sound good.

  3. Leigh says:

    I have heard of cooking with beer, but actually putting the beer can in the cavity of the chicken – well, that is certainly a new one for me. I wonder if the heat causes the beer to slowly baste the chicken? Someday I will have to try this (grin)

  4. maggie b. says:

    LinnieGaylAAR: Maggie B, I would love your recipe for roast cooked with beer. I’ve added beer to chili recipes and it’s nice; and I don’t drink beer

    Give me a few days and I will post it. It is actually a taste of Home recipe. I have ten or so of their cook books and no clue which one it is in! But now that the weather is cooling off I was planning to make this, so when I find it, I’ll email you. Or post it in a blog :-)

    Maggie

  5. Syd says:

    We grill beer can chicken quite often. It makes the juiciest, most delicious chicken you can imagine. A couple of things for you to consider: the chicken is not particularly stable on the can. You can buy a beer can chicken stand at Wal-mart or Target or wherever for a few bucks. Whatever method you use, be very careful removing the chicken from the grill and the can from the chicken. Beer splashes can really burn! Lastly, I would start testing for doneness around 1 hour or so. I’ve never had to grill one for longer than 1 1/2 hrs max. Enjoy. And I would love to know what you think after you’ve tried one.