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.