“Beer Butt Chicken” never sounds very appetizing. But the concept—a whole chicken slow-roasted and permeated with beer from within—is very inviting. Matt Stinchfield (see the entry on 11/20) replaced the can of light lager with a herb-infused, spicy Belgian beer for a much more sophisticated dish. Does that make this Bière Derrière Poulet?—JJ

Beer-Roasted Chicken with Saison

From The Palate Jack

8 servings


  • 1 whole fryer hen, 4-5 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons dry BBQ rub
  • 1 cup Belgian-style saison or wit beer

1. Remove the giblets and neck from the chicken and reserve for another use. Rinse the bird inside and out, then pat dry with a paper towel. With the bird in a glass or enamel pan, pat the dry rub onto the exterior, including under the wings and thighs.

2. Pour the beer into a ceramic chicken sitter or a ceramic coffee travel mug with a wide base. Make sure there are no plastic or rubber components to the sitter. Arrange the bird on the beer vessel so that the bird is essentially stuffed with the sitter, and place the whole system back into the dish until your grill is ready.

3. Using either a gas or charcoal grill, bring the temperature up to medium low, about 330º F. Remove the chicken from the dish and place the chicken and sitter directly on the grill. Cooking the chicken beside, and not directly over, the heat source will reduce the chance that the chicken fat ignites and scorches the skin.

4. Leave covered for approximately 1 1/2 hours, until the drumstick moves freely and the juice of the thigh runs clear. Remove from the heat, let sit for 15 minutes, and serve.

Suitable sides include garlic mashed potatoes, fall vegetables, and a seasonal salad. For beers, try Saison Dupont, Lost Abbey Red Barn, or your favorite Belgian-styled witbier or German-styled hefeweizen.

Chef Notes:

I don’t use beer cans for this type of cooking due to inks and plastic coatings. Try the Grill Friends Chicken Sitter, available from www.bbqproshop.com/tools/poultry/chicken-sitter-stand.html.

Use your favorite commercial dry rub. Mine is BBQ 3000 from Penzeys. A Cajun rub or Caribbean jerk seasoning will also work. Make sure it has paprika and herbs.

Tomorrow: Outrageous venison chili