Monday, July 19, 2010

American Summer Vacation Series 2010: Wisconsin-Style Drunken Chicken

Going home usually means going back to the familiar and traditional. There were plenty of comfort foods, family recipes and visits to favorite haunts during our trip to visit my mom and stepdad in northern Wisconsin last week. This, however, was not one of them.

Not to be confused with Chinese drunken chicken, marinated and cooked in Chinese wine, this version of Drunken Chicken, which I first encountered on this trip, is also called "beer can chicken". A bird, rubbed in butter and spices - these birds in Tony's Creole seasoning (my stepdad is from New Orleans) - sitting on a can of beer - in this case, Hamm's (Wisconsin's answer to Coors) - and set up on a platform on the grill for about 90 minutes. The beer steams up through the chicken, making the meat extremely juicy and tender and imbuing it with a slightly hops and barley-esque flavor.

Traditional, no. At least not in our house. Until now. And I can't wait to get a couple of birds drunk on our grill for the Germans.

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