On a bushcraft/rural cooking website, I read not so long ago, that a whole chicken can be cooked in a clay oven with an open can of beer inserted into it ... er ... rear opening, and being a chef of little talent but great aspirations, I thought I would give it a go.
Now, my kitchen in the UK is not a bush kitchen. It has an electric fan oven, not a clay oven, but I thought that would do.
I opened a can of cheap lager, drank about 1/4 of it, inserted the rest into the cavity in the chicken carcass and put it in the oven on a baking tin to catch the inevitable juices. Of course, having a beer can inserted into the chicken means that the bird has to stand on end, which looks a little weird, but hey ho.
The recommended cooking time for the chicken was about 115 minutes at 190°C, but I figured with a hefty heat conductor thrust into the bird, this could be considerably less.
90 minutes later, I had a juicy, well-cooked bird ready to be served, and I have to say that although this was a very cheap chicken, it was very moist and tasty. I would have posted a photo, but I'm afraid that there only a few bones left!
The juices collected in the baking tin made a fantastic gravy, just to top off the meal.
All in all, I consider this experiment to be a resounding success. The only adjustment I would make is to cover the chicken with tin foil for at least part of the cooking process, to keep in even more of the flavoured juices in. This would also negate the need for basting - probably.
Has anyone else tried this? If so, let me know your results.
I will try it again, possibly with a can of Guinness- that could be interesting - or a waste of Guinness.