It can no longer be called “Beer Can Chicken.” Paula’s roasting rub elevates this simple dish to gourmet status.
1 Roasting Chicken 3-1/2 to 5 lbs
3 Garlic Cloves
1 TBSP Juniper Berries
2 tsp coarse Salt
1 tsp dried Oregano
½ tsp Black Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil, rendered duck fat
or clarified butter
1 sm Lemon – sliced thin
We’d always used dry rubs on the chicken bakers. We sent one to Paula for the heck of it, and she developed this extra special Mediterranean style recipe. It is fabulous! We made two of them for our “company” Paula Wolfert Christmas party (everything from appetizers to dessert was from “Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking“. Juniper berries are available from Penzey’s Spices. If you don’t know about them, you need to! This is clay pot cooking at its best!
1. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off tail. Place on a rack over paper towels and refrigerate, uncovered.
2. Use a heavy pestle to pound the Juniper Berries, garlic, salt, oregano, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaves to a paste in a mortar. Or use electric grinder or spice mill to grind. Blend in the olive oil.
3. Remove chicken from refrigerator. Slip fingers under the skin of the thighs and breasts and gently separate skin from the meat to create an air pocket without tearing the skin. Insert pinches of the mixture under the skin and massage into the flesh. Use remaining mixture to season the cavity and the skin.
4. Slip lemon wedges into the cavity.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degF. Bring the chicken to room temperature. Fill the center cup about 2/3 full with water and juice of 1 lemon. Seat the chicken over the cup with legs to the side making a tripod.
6. Bake, uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (depending on size)
7. The bird can be placed on the table on the baker (juices can be removed with a baster to make gravy) or lift the bird carefully off the stand and transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes before carving. Juices can also be put in a skillet and boiled down to about ½. Correct seasoning and serve with the carved bird.