Before I landed in the City of Angels I was an East Coast transplant turned Maui Girl. I loved Maui. I loved my simple, easy life. I had my favorite beach, my favorite friends, a great job and my bike ride home from work smelled like pikake and gardenia flowers. I surfed, I paddled and I rode that little red beach cruiser everywhere and usually with Olivia, my chihuahua sidekick, in the straw basket. I never would have guessed that in a few years time I would trade my Locals in for Fryes and my bike for .... well.. road rage. And even though we are in the throes of Fall and staring down the barrel of yet another holiday season, Maui has been on my mind. Maybe it's that my dear friend, and former surf buddy, Courtney was just in town. Maybe it was the conversation I had with Pakala, my Hawaiian boss, about his upcoming trip to Molokai. Maybe it's the up coming trip to Salt's Cure with two more Maui visitors, Leah and Jay. Who knows.
Cut to a particularly uneventful evening this week in Los Angeles. I had time to day dream, my thoughts swimming from all things Thanksgiving to more tropical waters. A friend sensing my boredom offered me the only bit of entertainment available. Beer magazine. Not my go-to periodical but I gave it a whirl. Flipping past the ads for craft beers, I landed on a Do-it-Yourself tutorial for Beer Can Chicken. BCC has been on my mental "Must Try" list for way too long.
A-Frame is the reigning heavy weight in the BCC department but rarely do I ever find myself all the way in Culver City.As I flipped through my guide I was skeptical that I could pull this off. Surely there was some complicated grilling contraption or Bobby Flay-worthy skill involved. I was tickled to learn that I needn't be a master of the barbeque to pull off BCC. I just needed an oven. Still not entirely convinced, I flipped the page. There it was, a recipe featuring my friend's beer company, Maui Brew Co. It was a sign. I would have to ditch the doubt and get cooking. Garrett Marrero is the man behind the brew and also singlehandedly responsible for interrupting a strictly wine and scotch period, bringing me back around to beer. He makes a beautiful I.P.A., the Big Swell, my favorite is the Bikini Blonde; a Hellas lager, but they're most famed effort is the Coconut Porter and this was the main ingredient in the BCC challenge.
I remember the day that I was introduced to Maui Brew Co.. Garrett was conducting a tasting to showcase his locally crafted selection. He set up several cans. This was back before cans were again the fashion and he was armed with a laundry list of can-pros for us to consider. The most convincing reason is that they're more environmentally friendly than bottles and when you rely on the limited resources provided by a smattering of specks in a vast Pacific sea, you consider these things.As we untangled the stigma from our thoughts, he began pouring.
Full of flavor, round and fresh, Garrett explained that rarely would you come across a MBC beer that was more than seven days old. I was hooked. I began stalking Maui Brew Co. deliveries at the local wine shop. I waited outside, my bike basket emptied in anticipation (sorry Olivia). I would try to rearrange my impatient face to a nonchalant expression before Garrett arrived with those gleaming cans.
These days Maui Brew Co. is much easier to come by. I can find it in several places in my current zip code, many miles and a few years away from my toe tapping stalker days. And so it was with sheer delight that I turned the page to find this recipe that included my favorite little/big brewing company.
Maui Brew Co. Coconut Porter Beer Can Chicken
with a Thai Curry Basting Sauce
(recipe adapted from Beer magazine)
(I Puff Daddyied, P Diddyied, Puffalufugased the original recipe to suit my tastes and my pantry. Feel free to do some "sampling" of your own. Try fresh basil and mint in your basting sauce.)
1 4lb. Organic chicken (try Lindy and Grundy)
1 can Coconut Porter
1 stalk lemongrass cut into 3in pieces and lengthwise (put into can)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup scallions
1 3in. piece lemongrass
3 Tbsp sweet Thai chili
2 Tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce (more if you like it spicy)
2 tsp ground ginger
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1 1/2 limes
Preheat oven to 450*
Pour enough Porter into a glass to fit the lemongrass in the can without an overflow.
Remove gizzards from the chicken and rinse with cold water. Pat the chicken dry thoroughly with paper towels.
Season the bird with a nice crust of S&P then in a roasting pan, fit the chicken around the can. It should sit up on it's own.
Next combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour 1/2 sauce in a separate bowl to use later.
Baste the chicken in the sauce and put it in the oven. Ten minutes baste again, repeat in ten more minutes.
Turn the oven down to 375* for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165*.
Tip- put the chicken on the lowest shelf, if the top looks like it's getting too dark too fast, you can always put a little tin foil hat on top to prevent burning.
When the chicken is finished carefully remove the can. This can be tricky but if you can push down on the top of the can through the opening in the bird while lifting up on the chicken it should slide out easily. Let it rest for ten minutes on a separate platter. Pour the chicken drippings into a sauce pan and add the remaining (untouched) sauce. Whisk over medium heat until smooth. Carve. Serve. Enjoy.
Beer Can Chicken with Jalapeno and Cilantro Cole Slaw.