This recipe came from Steven Raichlen’s “Beer Can Chicken” and it was outstanding. This is really the Asian version of beer can chicken. It was great. Even if you think you don’t like Chinese five-spice powder (you know who you are, Mom!) then you should still try this dish. It wasn’t too strong at all.
1 empty can of beer, rinsed out
1/2 cup bottled Asian beer, like Tsingtao (if you can find canned Tsingtao, by all means, use it. I can only find it bottled)
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbs honey
1 tbs sesame oil
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 scallions, trimmed, white parts cut into 1 inch pieces, green parts finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed with the side of your knife
1 tbs kosher salt
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
Pour 1/2 cup Asian beer into a large mixing bowl. Add the soy sauce, rice wine, honey, and 1 tsp sesame oil. Gently stir to mix. Take your empty beer can and use a church key-style opener to make two additional holes on either side of the opening. Use a funnel and pour the beer mixture into the can. Add the star anise (you’ll have to break it in pieces), the cinnamon stick, scallion pieces, ginger slices, and garlic clove. Set aside.
Make the rub – put the salt, five spice powder, sugar, and pepper into a small bowl. Stir to mix.
Prep the chicken: remove the giblets and whatever else might be in there, rinse with water and pat very dry with paper towels. Trim any excess skin/fat. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the rub inside the body cavity and half a tsp inside the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle the remaining 2 tsp of sesame oil on the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tbs of the rub and rub it all over the skin. Spoon the remaining rub into the beer can.
Place the chicken over the beer can so he’s sitting upright. Cross his legs together to form a tripod. I highly recommend using a beer can holder, they sell them at Bed Bath & Beyond for less than $10. Place the holder in a metal baking dish, which you have either wrapped in foil or sprayed with cooking spray first. Don’t skip that step or it will be impossible to clean.
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 F. Insert a meat thermometer to the thickest part of the chicken breast. Continue to roast chicken until the thermometer reads 165 F. Remove from oven. Carefully, using tongs, lift the chicken off the beer can and onto a cutting board. Let rest for 10 minutes. Carve as desired and serve.