I used to love BCC (Beer Can Chicken), but frankly I'd found that rotisserie chicken on my gas grill turned out more moist than BCC. So it has been a long time for me making BCC. Now the first meal on my BGE was a spatchcocked chicken, which was the most moist chicken I'd ever had. Where rotisserie chicken is off the table with the Egg, I figured I try a BCC. The recipe I made was from Weber's Charcoal Grilling and was called Garlic & Oregano Beer can Chicken. I also picked up the Cook's Illustrated Holiday Desserts issue, which has over a dozen dessert I plan to try. Today's dessert was Hermit Cookies, which are a crispy, square cookie which taste a lot like a ginger bread man. They are very popular here in New England and one of the things I was looking for was a crispy Hermit because the store-bought ones are no longer crispy and are often sad soggy affairs.
I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story & I will describe the final results and action items at the end of the pictures. I do have one question for those of you who bake on your Egg. These Hermits cooked with the grill set up for indirect and at the same temp as the chicken, so it wasn't a big deal to fire up the Egg 30 minutes earlier and throw the Hermits on. But I am curious what, if anything, you guys think the Egg brings to the table for something like these Hermits that an indoor oven doesn't. One of the recipes I will be making soon is an Eggnog bundt cake and where it is in cake pan. I am wondering why bother doing it on the Egg.
So Q: What types of desserts do you make or not make on the Egg and why?
The spice paste for the chicken is up first it used: Lime juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, vegetable oil & Kosher salt. I always get asked what the "PY" on the cutting board is for. That is my dedicated cutting board for raw poultry & I've marked two of the corners.
I haven't done a BCC in a long, long time & I also haven't used my mortar & pestle for a long time either. Here the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes & salt are ground up.
The chicken has had the giblets removed, the fat trimmed & has been washed with cold water. The vegetable oil & lime juice have been added to the spice paste.
The chicken is rubbed & it is off to the fridge for 4 hours.
Time to switch gears & start the Hermits. They used: crystalized ginger, raisins, butter, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, molasses, an egg, confectioners sugar, orange juice, dark brown sugar, table salt & all-purpose flour.
The butter is heated until it is browned.
When the butter is browned, the allspice & cinnamon are added and mixed together. You pull the pan off the heat when you smell the spices-this took less than 30 seconds.
Some of the dry ingredients are mixed together and set aside. The all-purpose flour, baking soda & salt are mixed together.
The crystalized ginger & raisins are chopped in a food processor until they are chopped & clump together.
Once cooled, the browned butter/spice mixture is mixed together with the ginger raisin mixture.
The molasses, egg & brown sugar are added to the mix.
The last step was to fold in the flour/salt/baking soda mixture into the mix. This was some of the stickiest dough I've ever made. It gets refrigerated to help harden it up & make it easier to handle.
90 minutes later & the dough has been hardened up & is easier to handle. Here it is turned out onto a lightly floured silicone mat.
The dough was divided in half & rolled into 10" long logs. Here they are on a 1/4 sheet pan on parchment paper. After this it went onto the Egg which is set up for indirect grilling at 350 degrees with the platesetter installed legs up & the s/s grill grate on that.
While the Hermits are baking on the Egg, it is time to prep the chicken (& the cook). I used a Weber poultry stand. The well in the base is for the beer, the rest of the base serves as a drip pan. The finned cap is perforated to let the steam into the chicken cavity. There is a neck plug seen in front of the beer in this picture,. I used some Blue Moon beer to lubricate both the chicken & me. I had to have another bottle of beer while the chicken cooked-strictly for quality assurance purposes you understand.
The 5 1/4 pound chicken is on the stand & the neck hole plug is in.
The Hermits are done after 25 minutes & get replaced on the Egg with the BCC.
The Hermits have cooled & it is time to make the glaze from orange juice & confectioners sugar. I was quite curious about this as I'd never had hermits with a glaze before.
The chicken took 90 minutes to cook & it cools in the Kitchen for 10 minutes before carving.
To carve the chicken I cut the legs & thighs off first & once off the chicken I separated the leg & thigh pieces (middle). Then I removed the breasts & wings & cut each breast in half (left & right).
The chicken was served with some chicken flavored rice.
This beer can chicken was as moist as the spatchcocked chicken I made on my Egg. I would have to do a side by side taste test to pick a winner there. I was very, very pleased with this cook & this recipe, but I do have room for improvement. The Hermits were excellent, about the best I remember trying. The glaze was a wonderful addition. There is a little room for improvement here too.
Action Items - Chicken
- Try using apple chips instead of apple chips. There was less smoke flavor than I was hoping for.
- Try cooking this at 400 degrees vs. 350. I would have liked the skin to be a tad crispier.
- Make more of the spice paste. This chicken was 5 1/4 pounds versus 4 pounds used in the recipe. I could have used a bit more due to the larger surface area of my bird.
Action Items - Hermits
- Figure out a better way to apply the glaze & improve my technique.
- I probably could have pulled the Hermits 2 or 3 minutes sooner. They weren't burnt, but it was getting close to that point.