Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday..."B" as in Beer Butt Chicken

Welcome to Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny Matlock over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." This week we are studying the letter "B" as in Peggy's BEER BUTT Chicken.

Back in the 1990's I used to enjoy weaving baskets. At that time (and I think it might still exist) there was a Basket Board on AOL that I used to participate in. There was a core group that exchanged posts almost daily. We'd exchange information on classes, patterns we liked, weaving techniques, the trials and tribulations of daily life, etc. From time to time we'd have basket swaps.

One of the ladies was a gal named Peggy Koch who lived in upstate New York and was raising a baby monkey named Davey. He was eventually going to be trained to assist a handicapped person, but he was still too young for training and lived with Peggy and her husband so he could learn socialization skills. Eventually the day would come when Peggy would have to give him back to the organization responsible for his training. Peggy would often post funny stories about Davey that we all enjoyed.

Sadly, Peggy was a diabetic and died quite suddenly of some medical complications. We were all shocked and didn't know what to do. One of the ladies who designed and wrote basket patterns came up with a pattern to honor Peggy's memory and help raise funds for the organization that would be training Davey. We all purchased the pattern and wove baskets for each other in the next basket swap. Some of us also wove a second basket for some of Peggy's friends that were also raising monkeys for the handicapped.

The lady who designed the basket was Laura Lee Zangler. She's a very talented lady and this pattern along with many of her other designs are available here. Her twill basket designs are wonderful!

Here are a couple of pictures of the basket I wove for the swap. (These are old pictures that I scanned and the colors are faded.) If you look at the second photo you can see Davey woven into the bottom of the basket. The colors are actually teal blue and navy.

After Peggy died another lady on the board shared Peggy's recipe for BEER BUTT chicken. She told us to smile and think of Peggy whenever we made it...and I do. We really enjoy this recipe and it's become a family favorite.

Peggy’s Beer Butt Chicken

2 3 pound whole chickens

1 tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, but I always use it)

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 tbsp. brown sugar

2 12 oz. cans beer

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Trim fat from chicken, rinse and pat dry.

In a small bowl combine all spices and mix well. Rub about 1 tsp. of mixture inside each chicken, and the remainder of the mixture on the outside of the chickens.

Open cans of beer and pour out half of the beer from each can. Drink if desired. Stuff the onion and minced garlic into the cans…half in each.

Ease the “butt” of each chicken over the beer cans, feet down until the chickens rest on the beer cans and their legs. (Note: I use metal holders made for this type of recipe. The beer can sits in the center and the chicken fits over the whole thing. They’re now sold at grocery stores, but when I first started making this chicken we didn’t have the holders. You just have to be more careful so you don’t knock it over. Beer cans must remain upright.)

Scatter handful of soaked hickory chips over hot coals and place chicken on beer cans directly on grill. (Note: We have a gas grill and put the chips in a box made for smoking. It sits on the grill. We bought our box at Home Depot.)

Close grill lid, but leave vents open and grill for about 2 hours. Add briquettes to fire as needed (not necessary with a gas grill).

Our grill can be lit on either side. We light the grill under the box of chips and not directly under the chickens.

Can also be placed in a pan and baked in a 350 degree oven for 2 hours. Beer cans must remain upright at all times. (Note: We always cook them on the grill and I've never cooked them this way.)

I'm going to post all the pictures below the recipe so you can copy and paste just the recipe in a Word Document if you want to save it. I did a search the other day to see about putting one of those print buttons on my recipe posts, but I'm scared I'll mess up the blog html if I try to add it... and then I won't be able to fix it again.

Here are the beer cans in the holders...

The chickens ready to go on the grill...

The chickens on the grill with the metal box with the wet chips...

The cooked chickens two hours later...

Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for more Alphabe-Thursday posts.


  1. Oh wow that looks tasty! I've seen that done before but never tried it myself. I love your basket too! very impressive!

  2. That chicken looks delish. I've never seen it done before. Seems like a lot of steps - I might assign this one to my hubby.

    Looks good though.


  3. The baskets truly are lovely but what a lot of work. Beer Butt Chicken sure is an unusual recioe. :)

  4. O.k., I'm gonna try this! All of those spices make this recipe sound like something I would love.

  5. A lovely basket..... and the chicken sounds delicious!!!
    Funny picture too!

  6. The chicken looks and sounds delicious! What a lovely way to honor your friend with the baskets and with the chicken recipe.

  7. it sounds yummy,


  8. That chicken looks yummy but your story aobut the basket was delightful. I am so glad I came by. Come visit soon. Anne

  9. Beautiful baskets, this is a real chicken if the beer had never seen him like that.

  10. That was a cool post, Betty! Love basket weaving. Never had the patience or talent to do any myself.

    My husband makes chicken like that; he calls it beer can chicken. Who knew that, if you stuck beer up your butt, you'd have moist skin...or something like that?!

  11. Hi,
    Your basket is wonderful. What a nice tribute to a sweet friend. I have heard of this B.B.C. but have yet to try it. Looks tasty. Fun way to remember her. Creative B word!

  12. The chicken must tatse so moist and good! I've heard of this but never attempted it. Maybe next summer when my grill is out I'll try it.

    The basket you made looks so pretty, Betty. The specila weave was anice tribute to Peggy.

  13. The baskets are so pretty. I bet the chicken is super moist.

  14. Oh yes, I've heard of this before, although slightly different....!

  15. What a nice way to remember your friend, with art.

    And that chicken looks fantastic!!


  16. Those chickens look fabulous! I will need to give this a try sometime, I always hear how great it is! You made some nice baskets too, I have to admit that whenever I hear the term basket weaving I think of the mental ward people & their crafts.... probably not politically correct but I always say I'm ready to weave baskets when I feel stressed or crazed:-). The monkey assistance is interesting, I've not heard about that before.

    Thanks for stopping by my B blog, I haven't had acorn squash.... Ive always been leery about any kin of squash really but now that I'm older I'm willing to try it so I'll add that to the list:-)

  17. Peggy's Beer Butt Chicken recipe is certainly one of the more unusual I've come across, but it looks YUMMY! I appreciate your story about Peggy and the baskets, too. I'm very partial to hand-woven baskets and have seen millions of styles made in many corners of Asia.

  18. I'm so happy to be back at your blog again. I've kept you on my sidebar, but haven't been in blogland so much of late. This is a wonderful and creative post. You've been active in the internet community for a long time. That pattern is lovely and the recipe is fun. What a sweet picture of caring relationships which began online.

  19. so sorry to hear about Peggy's death, after knowing all the good she was doing for people. What an unusual life! It's nice to know you can pass on her spirited cooking, and think of her. Beautiful baskets {:-Deb

  20. What a wonderful tribute to your friend, both the basket and the beer-butt recipe. I'm glad you have both to remember her by.

  21. The chicken looks great and I am always looking for new recipes. Can't wait to try it.
    Love, love, love your baskets. They are truly art!

  22. Nice tribute to a friend..and the chicken looks amazing. OK, I'm hungry now... LOL

    I missed the posting deadline for Alphabe-Thursday this week...feel free to stop by, tho... :)

  23. I've had chicken made that way and it is wonderful!

    The basket is beautiful...

  24. What a wonderful, tho sad, story. The basket is a great tribute to your friend. I have heard of Beer Butt chicken but never tried it. I think you may have inspired me to get the grill going and give it a try..

  25. What a pretty basket. I'm so hungry after looking at the chicken pics!

  26. Sorry to hear about what happened to Peggy... The basket you made in her honor is amazing though! I think it's really great that you keep her memory alive every time you make this recipe :)

    I would love to try this recipe because it sounds really good but I don't know if I have the grill or the oven big enough for this! Not to mention where I would find a whole chicken! Thanks for sharing the recipe though!

  27. What a neat post. I had no idea people trained monkeys for this. Your friend sounds like she was a lovely and generous person.

    It made me smile to see 'Davey' woven into the basket as a memory.

    It would be fun to see if the group still exists!

    Thanks for this yummy recipe. Our son-in-law used to make this but they live in Oregon now so I'll have to try it all by myself!

    Thanks for linking up.



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