Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe: Bundt Cake Pan Chicken

The other day I wanted to make Beer Can Chicken. One of my favorite grocery stores, Ballard Market, had two-for-one organic chickens so they were almost the price of, um, un-organic chickens. Score!

By now you've heard of Beer Can Chicken. It's a popular and easy way to smoke chicken on the grill: Open a tall boy beer, take a few gulps and poke a few holes in the can, then stick the can up the chicken cavity and place on grill. The steam from the beer keeps the chicken nice and juicy, while the chicken, in an upright stance, smokes evenly.

Only I didn't have a beer. No problem, I said to myself, rummaging in my messy bottom kitchen cupboard. I know I have one of those beer can chicken stands around here. Clanking around and throwing various kitchen and baking equipment around, my hand landed on part of Grandma Helen's bundt cake pan. Grandma Helen was Eric's grandma, and we have hordes of cast iron pans and ancient but useful baking pans from her.

I held it up and realized it would be a perfect "beer can chicken" stand. Not only would it hold up the chicken and be sturdier than a beer can, the bottom part would catch the drippings so I could baste the chicken along the way.

And it's downright girly, I thought, me being the kind of feminist who finds no offense in the idea of being a girl.

So here it is, my recipe for Bundt Cake Pan Chicken. Incidentally, if you don't have a bundt pan, you may substitute a tall boy can of beer.

Spice rub of your choice
kosher salt (if rub has no salt in it)
1 whole chicken
Olive oil

1) Prep your chicken: Remove giblets. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Rub generously with olive oil, followed by kosher salt. Pat rub all over chicken.

2) Place chicken upright on bundt pan.

3) While chicken is sittin' pretty and getting her rub on, go get your smoke on: Make fire in grill for indirect, medium heat. Shoot for 300 degrees. You can smoke it slow and low, but I like my chicken skin crispy, and the higher temperature will do that. Once pre-heated (charcoal or gas), add wood to fire.

4) Cook chicken for one hour without peeking. Use your vents to control and stabilize the heat. After one hour, baste chicken with juices collecting at base of bundt pan. Continue to baste every 30 minutes for about 2 to 2 1/2hours until chicken reads 165 degrees in the meaty part of the thigh.

5) The trickiest part is taking the bundt pan with chicken off the grill without spilling all the juices on the fire. I removed some of the drippings first, then picked it up carefully with a hot pad and tongs on to a plate. Let the bird sit about 5 minutes before pulling off the bundt pan. Remember that the pan will be hot! Let sit for another 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

You may notice that the rub is light, and a little uneven. What can I say? The baby woke up from her nap right as I was applying the rub, and I needed to hurry up and get and get the bird on so I could pick up son from pre-school. You know what? It was delicious! This method of cooking chicken makes it so tender and juice, that it requires very little fuss.



  1. Yeah baby! I gotta get you and SRG to make this recipe in....

  2. Looks like the Bundt pan did you a favor. Most beer can chickens I've seen are overcooked on the bottom due to proximity to coals. It looks like the Bundt pan has its own diffuser built in... ;)

  3. Too true, Zydecopaws. The bundt gives more of a barrier to the fire. I've made it plenty with the beer can, though, and with an indirect fire and drip pan, the chicken shouldn't scorch. The bonus with the bundt pan was the drippings!