Soda Can Chicken
ready in: 2-5 hrs
recipe id: 66846
cook method: outdoor grill
4 1/2 pounds whole chicken
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground black pepper
1/2 cup paprika
1 can soda (ginger ale, lemonade or flavored cola)
Preheat gas or charcoal grill to about 400 to 450 degrees F. Mix all dry ingredients and rub liberally on the chicken.
Open the can of soda and pour out about 1/2 a cup. Punch some extra holes in the top of the can with a church key, ice pick or knife to make sure the soda flavoring spreads evenly through the chicken.
Place the chicken on the can so that it is standing up with the legs pointing down. Start with a sizable bird, at least four or five pounds, but not too big. The soda can may not fit into the cavity of a smaller chicken. However, buy a very large chicken and you may not be able to get the grill lid closed.
Cook the chicken on the grill using indirect heat. If you're using a gas grill, turn off one set of burners and place the chicken and can, still standing up, over that side of the grill. If you're using a charcoal grill, spread the hot coals out away from the center of the grill, creating an empty space. Place a foil drip pan in the empty space and cook the chicken over the drip pan.
Close the grill and cook the chicken for about 40 to 45 minutes, then rotate the chicken to ensure even cooking and cook for 40 more minutes. Avoid opening the grill and peeking in at the chicken.
Check the temperature with a meat thermometer. The temperature in the thickest part of the thigh needs to reach 160 to 175 degrees F. Another way to check for doneness is to stick a knife in one of the dark-meat areas of the bird. If the juices are clear, the chicken is done. If the juices are red or cloudy, the chicken needs more time on the heat.
Once it's done, remove the chicken from the grill and let it sit upright--still on the can--for 15 minutes or so. After its rested, carve and serve.
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