Favorites: Tallarnee

TallarneeI haven’t made this in ages! I made it last week and it was so, so good. Just had to share.

When I google “tallarnee” I find weird stuff like foreign language references, Indian removal records, and “layer tick boxes”.  But – when I google “tallarnee recipe” google changes the spelling to “tallarni recipe” and pulls up a bunch of hits with casseroles similar to my own recipe. It’s a casserole with noodles, hamburger, corn, olives, onions, tomato soup and cheese.

I am keeping my spelling: tallarnee. I found this recipe in my recipe box behind my recipe for “Tetrazini crepes” (another miss-spell, as it turns out). Tallarnee is a great comfort food type casserole that many of us baby-boomers remember from childhood.

My recipe for Tallarnee is handwritten by me on a 3×5-inch card. That means I copied it from my mother’s collection in the late 1970s or so.TallarneeRecCard1

When I made it this week, I cut the ingredients in about half for the two of us, and we had leftovers. I used olive oil to cook the onions instead of Crisco. For the tomato soup and water, I used some really good “tomato bisque” that I found at a local store.

soup can

The above type of soup does not call for dilution with water, so I eliminated water from my old recipe for Tallarnee. If you use the undiluted kind of tomato soup, do add water.

Tallarnee
serves 2-3

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (you can probably leave this out)
  • 1 cup dry noodles (I use wide, short noodles)
  • 1/2 cup corn: fresh off the cob, canned, or frozen
  • 1/2 cup black pitted olives
  • 1/2 can condensed tomato soup mixed with 1/4 cup water OR 1 can full-strength “fancier” tomato soup (I used a little less than the full can, reserved a little for tasting)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook the onion in the oil until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until the meat is brown. Cook the noodles as the meat and onion cook.

Mix together everything except the cheese and put in a suitable sized casserole or baking dish. Top with the cheese.

Bake at 350˚ for 35-40 minutes, until all is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Serve!

Comment

I liked the chunky tomato bisque soup that I used. It gave great flavor, while keeping the comfort-food-ness of this casserole from my childhood. I think there is more to explore along these soup-lines to nudge a few more old casserole recipes into the twenty-first century.

Favorites: Julie’s Cherry Pie

I had a craving for cherry pie this week. I pulled out my old recipe card and figured I had better save it in a better format before it was totally ruined.

Julie's Cherry PieJulie's Cherry PieThis is a great cherry pie. I copied it from my mother’s collection when I left home in the 70s. Why is it called “Julie’s” cherry pie? I have no idea. My husband has a sister named Julie, but I was making this pie before we met. Cherry pie is probably my husband’s favorite pie! He always insists that I make criss-crosses of crust strips on top.

The crust recipe on this card calls for Crisco and half and half. It is a good, tender crust, but these days I prefer my newer crust recipe that uses Crisco, butter, and vodka.

As for the tart cherries, the easiest to find are canned cherries. But I have used fresh-picked (when very lucky!) or fresh-frozen cherries as well in this recipe. (Not sure where I got the cherry juice in those instances, but I’m pretty sure today that cherry juice is sold separately somewhere.)

This weekend, I made this pie as two small pies. We split one pie on Saturday and still had another for the next night. Mini-sized desserts works well for the two of us – here are a couple other mini-dessert recipes on a previous blog entry.

Double the recipe and bake in a 10-inch pie pan. (If you use a 9-inch pie pan, it might run over.) My small pie “pans” are fiesta ware 6-inch slanted side oven-safe dishes, a little over 1 3/4-inch deep.

Julie’s Cherry Pie
makes 2 small pies

  • one recipe pie crust (use 1 1/4 cup flour)
  • 1 can tart cherries; 14.5 oz. size
  • scant 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 cup cherry juice
  • a few drops red food coloring (you can leave this out)

Drain the cherries, reserving juice.

Combine the sugar and corn starch in a pan, then slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the cherry juice. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then simmer and stir a couple minutes. It doesn’t get real thick or real clear, but it’s okay.

Remove from heat and add the red food coloring (if using) and the drained cherries. Cool.

Divide the crust dough into 3 nearly equal portions. Roll out 2 of them and fit into 2 small pie pans. Divide the cherry mixture between the two pans.

Roll the rest of the dough and cut into strips. Put the strips in a criss-cross pattern on each pie. Trim the crusts, roll under and flute.

Bake at 425˚ for 10 minutes and then at 350˚ for 30 minutes.

Julie's Cherry PiesBoy these are good. A little ice cream on top? Sure. Absolutely heavenly.

Apple Coconut Muffins

Instant favorite: A muffin recipe from the Whittier Wildcats Cookbook, this week’s 250 Cookbooks blog entry. These muffins are oh so good! They pack a full cup of coconut and a cup and a half of apples into 12 muffins. I added some cinnamon and used fresh nutmeg.

I think these are really “cupcakes”. Too rich to be called “muffins”. Maybe a little whole wheat flour will assuage my conscience.

Here is the original recipe:

Apple Coconut Muffins recipeBelow is my version:

Apple Coconut Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (or use regular butter and skip the additional salt)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut (this weighed 3 1/2 ounces on my scale)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, peeled apple (for me, this took 1 1/2 large apples)

Prepare 12 muffin tins in your favorite fashion.

In a mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Stir together the flours, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Whisk together the eggs and milk.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the egg mixture to the creamed mixture, blending after each addition only until just combined. Stir in the coconut and apples.

Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until they are light brown on top and test done with a toothpick. Cool in pan at least 15 minutes before removing to cool on a wire rack.

Apple Coconut MuffinsBe sure to let these cool before removing from the pan. I tried getting one out after only 5 minutes and – oops! It fell apart. So of course I had to taste it. And then go back for more. Addicting!

Favorites: Sukiyaki

One of my college roommates was Japanese, and she wrote out this recipe for Sukiyaki for me:Sukiyaki RecipeWhen we cooked in our on-campus apartment, we made this in my electric fry pan. She was a very neat person (I, on the other hand, can tend to be slovenly) and put neat little piles of the different ingredients – meat, veggies, tofu, noodles – in different sections of the pan. I always loved this meal. And the memories of our times together, including visits to her aunt’s house in Southern California.

I just re-discovered my electric fry pan and was inspired to dig out my old recipe card. I actually found it! Here is how I prepared Sukiyaki last Saturday, here in the year 2015.

Sukiyaki
serves 2

  • 9 ounces beef tenderloin or sirloin, cut into small strips
  • a couple green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • bamboo shoots, about half a can
  • yam noodles (fresh, from an Asian market, or maybe a local supermarket)
  • water cress (one small bunch; could use spinach)
  • mushrooms, sliced (I used fresh shitakes)
  • tofu, about 10 half-inch chunks
  • sauce: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/2 tablespoon mirin (rice wine, or use sherry), 1/2 cup water

Heat a large electric fry pan to 360˚ (or use a large, flat skillet on your stove top). Add a few tablespoons vegetable oil and fry the meat until brown. Push the meat to a corner of the pan. Lower the heat to 320˚ and add the sauce. Put the green onions, bamboo shoots, noodles, water cress, mushrooms, and tofu in separate piles in the pan. Continue to heat until all the ingredients are hot. Serve!

Sukiyaki

Favorites: Pita Bread

Pita breads are easy to find in stores, but they can be thick or thin or have pockets or not. I like my pitas thin and with pockets. But store ones that are thin and have pockets usually fall apart when you fill them with a lot of stuff.

I recently made Beef Steak Pitas for this blog. The thick, pocket-less pita that I bought at a local Mediterranean market reminded me: I can make my own pitas!

Sometimes you just have to do it yourself to get it right. I made these last week and they turned out perfect. I enjoy the nutty taste and chewy texture that the whole wheat flour lends these breads. I like watching them puff up in the oven. I love taking out a hot one, cutting it in half, filling it with a slice of cheddar cheese, and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the experience.

(I also like filling them with a lot of stuff. I also like that they store well, on the counter or in the freezer.)

In 1999, I wrote up my method for pita breads in my old blog (here is the history of that blog). Here is that post, along with my slightly updated recipe for pitas.

1999 post:

I was inspired to make these after a member of a news group I was reading, rec.food.baking, asked for suggestions as to how to get pita bread to bake with even crusts. No one else in the group was posting an answer, so I dug out my old recipe (it’s been at least 15 years since I tried these, back when I was baking with more whole grains than I do currently) and gave it a whirl. And yes, I did use a bread machine to do the dough, sorry, but I like the freedom it gives me, plus I’m busier than I used to be. The recipe works just as well if you do the kneading by hand, then let it rise until double, punch down and form the loaves.

I was amazed at how good they came out – nutty and chewy and utterly delightful. I get such a kick out of the way they puff up, but then I’m easily entertained. They make a great pocket for fillings, because they stay together much better than the store-bought cracker-like pitas. Most of these had even crusts top and bottom, though a couple were uneven: I have no explanation as to why, I thought I did them all the same. (Guess they were rebel pitas.)

Pita Breads
makes 10

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 generous tablespoon olive oil (you can use any vegetable oil)
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons gluten flour (or regular flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (not white wheat flour)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons yeast

Mix in bread machine on the dough cycle, monitoring the dough after the first few minutes in the machine, adding a little more flour or water if necessary to keep a nice ball of dough. If you can, leave the dough a little bit wetter than you would for conventional loaves. When the cycle is complete, divide the dough into 10 pieces, knead each piece briefly, then roll each into a 6 inch circle. At this point, you may let them rise until puffy, about 20 minutes.

Put a heavy griddle on the bottom of your oven. If you have a gas oven, this really means on the BOTTOM; in an electric oven, you must use the lowest rack (take out the upper rack). Heat the oven and the grill to 425˚ for at least 15 minutes before you start baking the pitas. Place the loaves on the heated grill, a couple at a time, and bake for 6-8 minutes. They should puff up magically! If desired, you can then place them under the broiler to brown the tops.

Note: You can use a baking stone instead of a griddle.

Here are my 10 little pitas, ready for the oven.

10 little pitasHere they are magically rising when I opened the oven to take a peek!

pitas risingHere is one of the baked pitas. These actually kept their puffiness and I had to kind of squish them down before storing in plastic bags.

pita breadYum!

Favorites: Applesauce-Carrot Muffins

Applesauce Carrot MuffinsMuffins in the morning! One of my favorite things. These have apples and carrots and raisins and even some whole wheat flour in them. I often use my own homemade cinnamon-infused applesauce in these.

Applesauce-Carrot Muffins
makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup applesauce (canned or homemade)
  • 3/4 cup grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins (I like to use sultans – golden raisins)
  • lemon zest (about 1/2 lemon rind, grated)

Beat together egg and sugar until light, then beat in oil, milk, and vanilla. Stir in applesauce.

Combine flours, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture only until just blended. Quickly fold in carrots and raisins.

Put into 12 muffin-pan cups. Bake at 400˚ for 15 to 18 minutes until lightly browned.

250 Cookbooks: New Slow Cooker Meals

Cookbook #86: New Slow Cooker Meals, Betty Crocker, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 2001.

New Slow Cooker CookbookI remember there was a time that I searched my house but couldn’t find any of my slow cooker cookbooks. That’s probably when I picked up this small cookbook at a supermarket. Today, I don’t find any of the recipes in New Slow Cooker Meals inspiring. In my opinion, most of the recipes would be better cooked in a pot on the stove for an hour than dragging out a big crockpot and having it cook all day. But then again, I am retired. (See my first crock pot entry for my opinions on crock pot cooking in general.)

Betty Crocker’s New Slow Cooker Meals is 5×8-inches and 96 pages. You could subscribe to Betty Crocker cookbooks, and this cookbook has a url printed in it: www.bettycrocker.com. On the current website, these small printed cookbooks are called “Recipe Magazines from Betty Crocker”, and you can still subscribe to them. The website has a section on slow cooker recipes.

I do have a task this week that I can tie into this cooking blog. The Lyons Garden Club is having a chile cookoff, and I want to contribute a crockpot of chile, albeit not one to enter into the contest (since I am a member). So, I will make the Family-Favorite Chili on page 19 of this Betty Crocker recipe magazine. Family-Favorite Chili is made with hamburger, spices, tomatoes, and beans.

(I find myself typing “chili” and “chile” interchangeably. Which is correct? A web search reveals much controversy. I kind of like the answer at MJ’s Kitchen: a chili is a pepper and a chile is a dish cooked with a chili pepper. Don’t sweat it.)

Here is Betty Crocker’s recipe for Family-Favorite Chile.

FamFavChiliRecI will of course make some changes. I like to wilt onions a few minutes before adding them to a dish. (And I find it odd that step 3 says to cook until the onions are tender: 3-4 hours.) I like to use a seasoning packet like Two Alarm Chili or Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit. Boring, but consistent. I have some dry pinto beans and a new pressure cooker, so I will cook my own beans instead of using canned beans. Below is my version.

My Basic Red Chile with Hamburger and Beans
makes a big crockpot’s worth of chile

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • a chili kit (Carroll Shelby’s or Two-Alarm or your favorite) or chili powder to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 cups (more or less) cooked or canned kidney or pinto beans (I used pintos that I soaked then pressure cooked for 20 minutes; I added dried hot peppers and salt before cooking)

Brown the ground beef, then drain off any fat and put it in a crock pot. Heat some olive oil in a small pan and cook the onion (salt it) until it wilts; add the garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add the onion-garlic mixture to the crock pot.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and seasonings to the crock pot and give the mixture a good stir. Cover and cook on low about 6 hours. Add the beans and check the seasoning, adding more spice or salt to your personal taste. Cook until the chile-bean mixture is heated through.

This chile will hold well on low for another hour or more but you might have to add a little water if it gets too thick.

My ChileThis chile is always good! Not different and unusual, but always welcome for a comfort-food dinner. We usually put cheese and onions on it and serve it with warmed flour tortillas.

I added some Mexican oregano and some of these dried chiles to this pot of chile:

jalapeno chilisAnd here are the Chili Queens at the Chili Cookoff!

Chili Queens

Photo credit to J. O’Brien, downloaded from Facebook.

Favorites: Pearl Balls

“Pearl Balls” are pork meat balls, seasoned with ginger and soy sauce, rolled in soaked rice, and then steamed. I forget when I first discovered these treats, but I always go back to my 1968 The Cooking of China Time-Life Books cookbook when I get a hankering for these. (I have admitted here before that I love meat balls so my current hankering isn’t out of character.)

The recipe below is adapted for my tastes. I believe the fresh ginger and water chestnuts to be essential in Pearl Balls, and I buy the best quality ground pork that I can find. These can be used as appetizers or to round out a Chinese-style meal.

Pearl Balls
serves about 4 as part of a Chinese-style meal

  • 1/2 cup rice, preferably a glutinous or starchy rice like a sushi rice
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms (use fresh white or shitake mushrooms, or reconstituted dried shitake mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust this amount to your own taste)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg

Start the rice soaking in a cup of water before you begin the Pearl Balls. About an hour’s soak is enough.

Combine the pork with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form the mixture into 1-inch meat balls.

Drain the soaked rice through a strainer and lay it out on a paper towel. Roll one pork ball at a time in the rice, pressing down gently but firmly as you roll so that the rice grains adhere to the meat.

Steam the pork balls for about 30 minutes. I use an electric steamer; a bamboo steamer set in a wok also works.

Serve at once! (Although, I enjoyed one of these cold out of the refrigerator the next day.)

Preparing the Pearl Balls:

pearl ballsCooked Pearl Balls along with Egg Rolls in Phyllo Dough:

Egg Rolls and Pearl Balls

Favorites: Pie Crust

The pie crust recipe that I used for years came from my mother. Hers was always perfect. Mine always tasted great, but was always difficult for me to roll out without tearing. I just lack a certain patience, I guess (well, I know). I kept using her recipe out of – well, maybe a bit of loyalty, or an acceptance that they did taste very good in spite of their looks, or maybe a laziness to find a new recipe that worked for me.

My mother’s recipe for a single pie crust is:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup Crisco
  • 2 tablespoons water

You mix the flour and salt then cut in the shortening using a pastry blender, sprinkle in enough water so that the dough just holds together, form into a ball, and roll out on a floured cloth. For a double crust, you mix the water with some of the flour first instead of sprinkling it in.

Mother's Crust Recipe

My well-used recipe card. I typed the crust recipe onto a 3×5 rectangle of colored paper when I left my parent’s home.

The above recipe is almost exactly the same as the recipe in All-Time Favorite Pies. That one uses a bit more flour and water, but is still a flour-salt-shortening-water pie crust recipe.

I never looked forward to making pie crust, it was more like planning for an upcoming battle.

Finally, I decided to take on the project of finding a new pie crust recipe. I searched the web for recipes and advice, and tried several different recipes, came on one that worked for me, then nudged the method until I was satisfied with the results. I make about 4 pies a year, so it took me a few years to come up with my final version!

My recipe is heavily based on one I found on Cook’s Illustrated, under the auspices of America’s Test Kitchen (and Christopher Kimball). Their recipe title is “Foolproof Pie Dough for a Single-Crust Pie” (dated 2007). I don’t want to step on any copyright toes, and give full credit for the development of this crust to Cook’s Illustrated! My version below just gives a couple nudges that help me make this dough perfect each and every time I use it.

The trick to this recipe is: Vodka!

Pie Crust
makes more than enough for a 9-inch crust

Note: this recipe can be doubled or fractionated – I have tried both variations with success. The amounts below make more than enough dough for a single crust, but that’s kind of nice because it gives some leeway for impatient dough-rollers. Or, take the extra dough, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, roll up, and bake 10 minutes at 375˚ for little treats. (That’s what my mother always let us do!)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (warning! if you do not use unsalted butter, you must use less salt!)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup cold Crisco (aka vegetable shortening), cut into 2-4 pieces (it’s gooey even cold, so “cutting” isn’t really the proper term here)
  • 2 tablespoons cold vodka (hey, just store some vodka in the freezer at all times!)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water (I put a few ice cubes in water for a few minutes, then measure the 2 tablespoons)

Get out your food processor. If you don’t have one, use a pastry blender or two knives instead. But the food processor really, really helps. I have never tried this crust without using a food processor.

Put 3/4 cup of the flour and all of the salt and sugar in in food processor and pulse a couple times just to mix.

Add all of the butter and vegetable shortening. Process for 10 seconds and check. It should look like “cottage cheese curds” and there should be “no uncoated flour”. If it is not yet to the cottage cheese point, pulse one or two times and re-check. In my experience, largish chunks of butter remaining in this dough are okay. It’s better to under-process than to over-process.

Open the food processor and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour and quickly pulse 4-6 times.

Remove the dough from the food processor and dump it into a regular bowl.

Mix the vodka and water. (Keep in mind that you might not need all of this vodka-water mixture.)

Sprinkle most of the vodka-water mixture over the dough. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough together until it sticks together and is “tacky”.

The exact amount of “tackiness” after the vodka/water is added isn’t terribly precise. The times I’ve tried this, it definitely wasn’t sloppy, and each time had a different degree of “holding together” when pressed against the sides of the bowl. Somewhere between sloppy and falling apart is best. Add the vodka/water slowly and if you add it all and still need more wetness, go with straight vodka. You want it to hold together so it will roll out easily, but too sloppy a dough creates a less-tender crust.

If you are a seasoned pie crust maker and the tacky mixture just seems too wet, know (from this chemist) that the vodka will evaporate and by the time you roll it out, it will no longer be tacky.

After mixing in the water/vodka, flatten the dough into a 4-inch disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate before rolling.

In my experience, this crust recipe works mixing together the night before, but take it out of the refrigerator an hour before rolling. It also works mixing the day-of, but make sure you put it in the refrigerator a couple hours before rolling.

Roll out on a lightly-floured cloth (like a flour sack cloth). When the crust is large enough to fit the pan, fold the cloth over to fold the dough, then gently transfer to the pie pan and fit and flute. Bake as directed in your pie recipe.

It rolls like a dream! Even I can do it!

I wrote myself a note on my final version of the new recipe: “And so with this, I leave behind Mother’s recipe for Crisco-flour-water-salt crust. That one was always flaky and wonderful, but this one rolls out in a manner more suited to my patience. It looks good, and tastes good. And, can be made ahead of time. And it means I now keep vodka in the freezer!”

Favorites: Beer Can Chicken

“We are having Beer Can Chicken for dinner.” “What’s that?” my daughter [who has been living abroad] asked.” “Well, you take a whole chicken and put it on a beer can and grill it.” “Do you . . . open the beer can?” “Yes!”

Beer can chicken recipes have been circulating amongst my Colorado friends for several years now. My recipe is based on one posted by the Culinary School of the Rockies (now Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, Boulder) in 2009. I tweaked it a bit, and have made it a lot!

I highly recommend Oskar Blues Old Chub as the beer for this recipe. I’m kind of partial to Oskar Blues, since this brewery started out in my town of Lyons. During the September floods in 2013, Oskar Blues helped our community with grants to businesses and individuals.

Oskar Blues was one of the first breweries to sell their microbrew in cans. Old Chub is a very hoppy IPA, and works great in this recipe.

Beer Can Chicken
serves about 4

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 1 open 12-ounce can of beer, preferably a flavorful microbrew
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each: garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard powder, and chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – use smoked paprika if you have it
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • a couple tablespoons fresh herbs, if you have them on hand; I have used thyme, mint, basil, and oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.

Mix the brown sugar with all the spices and herbs. Rub the chicken with some olive oil, then rub in the spices. Rub them in the cavity, under the skin that covers the breast, and on the outside of the chicken.

Preheat a gas grill to 350˚. The chicken needs to be cooked over indirect heat. My grill has 3 burners, so I set the first and third burners to medium high, and leave the middle burner off. Then the chicken has room in the middle to stand up without touching the gas grill cover when it is closed.

Hold the chicken upright (legs down) and place it on top of the beer can so that the can easily slides into the cavity. Use the legs to balance the chicken upright on the grill. (Yes, this can be a bit tricky the first time you do it!)

Close the lid. Grill the chicken at 350˚ for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. With my grill, I find that I need to check every 15 minutes or so to make sure that the grill is still at 350˚. The chicken is done when it is golden and at least 165 degrees.

Transfer the chicken (minus the beer can!) to a platter and serve!