After such all-encompassing efforts as The Barbecue! Bible and How to Grill, Raichlen turns his attention to a single and hilarious style of preparation, one based on an inspired theory: if there is anything a guy loves more than his grill, his brew and his gadgets, it is the opportunity to combine the three into a succulent main course. The basic technique is simplicity itself, boosted by just enough schoolboy rudeness to make it irresistible. Take one whole chicken, insert half a can of a favorite beer into its cavity, then prop it up on the BBQ. The can, in combination with the drumsticks, forms a tripod that keeps the bird upright, allowing the skin to achieve a fine crispness even as the internal steamer flavors the bird and eliminates the need for basting. A cornucopia of rubs, marinades, and beer-can fillers provides for more recipe variations than one would sanely care to attempt (massage the chicken in dill, sugar, garlic and mustard, pour a little Scandinavian liquor in with the ale and, voilX, Chicken Aquavit). For teetotalers, there are sauces made from cola, ginger ale, peach nectar or lemonade, each with the appropriate can of soft drink inserted into its awaiting fowl. He does include some recipes that might be better in theory than practice, such as the Quail on a Throne, which involves small cans of prune juice and a Cinnamon-Prune sauce. Subtle safety tips are proffered (Never grill a bird on an unopened can!). (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Beer-can chicken" has been a standard on the barbecue circuit since at least the mid-1990s, but Raichlen's recipe (he's demonstrated it on Good Morning America) seems to have attracted the most attention. The basic recipe calls for standing a whole chicken rather indelicately over an open can of beer and grilling it with the idea that the steam generated, as well as the vertical roasting position, results in a moist, succulent bird. Here Raichlen (The Barbecue Bible) expands on the theme, with a variety of birds, from turkey to quail, cooked over an assortment of liquids that include sake, ginger ale, and prune juice. There are also other favorite "wacky" recipes, from Hay-Smoked Steak to Camembert on a Plank (I'd skip the smoke-flavored whipped cream for the Grilled Pound Cake, though). An amusing little book with some tasty recipes from a popular author, this is recommended for most collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.