Posts tagged Clams
I can’t get enough of the beer can chickens. It’s such a simple, inexpensive way to prepare dinner for 3-4 people and do it on the grill. I make 4 or 5 of these a month. A typical 5 lb chicken is usually under $10 (unless you get free range organic like this one) and all you need are a few spices and a trusty can of good ole American cheap beer. The full recipe for cooking beer can chickens is here [insert link] so I won’t go into great detail in this article. The point of this post is that you’ve got a brined bird with a beer can shoved up its rear and 2-3 hours to kill so you might as well get some use out of those coals in the meantime.
What better way to celebrate the rapidly ending “R” months than to roast some clams with our beer can chicken. The smoke form the wood chips adds a real “clam bake” taste to the clams and broth that will transport you to a rocky New England beach on the “Nath Shah”. Add in a case of smuggled Harpoon IPA’s and you’re all set to kickoff opening day with the Sox. Everyone has their own tolerances for salt, pepper and heat so this recipe is assuming that you’ll make the cal based on your personal preferences.
Beer Can Chicken and Clams
- 1 5-7lb whole chicken
- 2-3 lbs clams
- 1 head garlic
- salt, sugar, bay leaf, pepper corns, lemon, etc (for brine and seasoning)
- Poultry Grub Rub (see recipe for our special dry rub) [insert link]
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 TBSP fresh oregano chopped
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 shallot (red onion can be sub’d)
- chicken stock (or clam juice)
- 1 loaf crusty bread (ciabatta works well)
Begin by brining the chicken at least an hour before you plan to start cooking. (Full method here [insert link]). To do this fill a large pot or bucket with enough cold water and brine seasonings to cover the bird. You don’t need to even wash the chicken of you’re brining, just make sure you take out any jibbies (giblets and innerds) before you brine. Refrigerate while its brining. Some cooks don’t see a need for this if you’re cooking it within a few hours, but better safe than sorry.
Once you’re ready to cook, set up your charcoal grill (we use a Weber) or gas grill for indirect heat. We’re looking for a slow-n-slow fire for this. You don’t really need any humidifiers like a liquid filled drip pan because the beer is doing that work for you.
While the coals are getting hot, dump and discard your brining liquid and wipe the bird with a damp towel to remove excess salt and brine material. Its best to do the next few steps with the bird in a large flat baking dish or on a sheet tray to catch any chicken juice and spices that get scattered around.
Take a half of a lemon and push it up into the cavity of the bird along with any herbs that you may want in there. Parsley, rosemary, etc work well. Next, and here’s the hard part: open 1 12 oz. can of cheap American beer (like PBR you hipster). Drink half. Ah, now that’s better, right? Next, gingerly, lovingly stick that can of beer right up that chicken’s ass. If you’ve done this before (or read the detailed instructions) you’ll know that you have to make a “tripod” out of the 2 legs and the can when you set the chicken upright on the “cold” side of the grill.
The chicken takes about 2 hours (adding soaked wood chips periodically) if you keep the grill temp around 275 degrees, so while he’s cooking slow-n-low, go ahead prep some clams.
Prep the clams by submerging them in a bowl of water for about 20 minutes. This should remove any leftover sand and debris and also help purge the clams a bit. While they clams are in the water bath, chop about 1 TBSP fresh parsley, 1TBSP fresh oregano, 1 clove garlic, 1 minced shallot and add to a flat Pyrex dish or oven safe crock. Add 1TBSP butter, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch or two of red pepper flake. Now add about a cup and a half of stock the juice of half a lemon and the clams (discard the rinse water) to the dish. Now put that on the hot side of the grill. Make sure to add wood chips at this point so the broth and the clams will be infused with smoke. Wait till the clams open fully and serve. (Discard any clams that don’t open, of course). Serve with some grilled some sliced bread and you have yourself a nice appetizer while your waiting on your chicken to finish. Beer pairs well with clams, especially a nice IPA, but to really savor the the smokiness of the clams, I suggest a nice medium oaked Chardonnay.