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October 07, 2013The Sam Adams Editorial Team

Sam Can Chicken Recipe from Chef David Burke

As a Boston sports fanatic, I can tell you that tailgating is a competitive sport for the true fan – not something to be taken lightly. In the parking lots before the big game, it’s not unusual to encounter people five hours before kickoff, grilling away and setting up their spreads.

You usually see a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, but with the help of Chef David Burke, we’ve created the perfect dish to bolster your tailgating arsenal: “Sam Can” Chicken, made with our very own Samuel Adams Boston Lager.

Our new Boston Lager cans offer a more convenient way to enjoy the great taste of Boston Lager whether you’re tailgating at the game or “homegating” in front of the television. It also offers us the opportunity to experiment with even more recipes. Chef Burke’s unique approach calls for a funnel (placed atop the chicken like a hat) to allow steam to circulate, releasing layers of flavor and moisture into the chicken, and keeping the chicken moist. The can serves as a vertical roast rack for the chicken, which can be roasted on the grill, in a smoker or even in your home oven.

Why is craft beer perfect for a beer can chicken recipe, you might ask?  The Boston Lager actually acts as a built-in “spice packet.” As the beer boils, the chicken is infused with delicious, malt-and-hops laden steam, which adds a complex range of flavors, from roasted to slightly sweet. A variety of hops lend floral, piney and citrus notes to the chicken.

With the fall sports season now in full swing, there’s no better time to try out this exciting new recipe. I recommend pairing it with, you guessed it, Boston Lager.

Samuel Adams® Sam Can Chicken Recipe

Recipe by Chef David Burke
Yield: Serves 4-6

1 whole fryer chicken (approximately 3 to 5 pounds) with giblets removed

One 12-ounce can of Samuel Adams Boston Lager® (Find it here)

1 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1 pinch of red pepper flakes

1 lemon for fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 stainless steel cooking funnel (will need for cooking)


Create the chicken marinade by mixing all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a mixing bowl. Next, add the chicken to marinade and marinate for 2 hours.

Heat the grill (on high, or until coals are ready for cooking). Open the can of Sam Adams Boston Lager®. Remove 1 tablespoon of beer from the can. Using a grill fork or knife, punch a few holes in the top of the can. Place your chicken right side up on the can. It should sit up straight. (TIP: Be sure to place the beer can as far into the chicken as you can, as if you were balancing the chicken on the can.) Cut a small hole at the top of the chicken to allow steam to go in and out. Then, place a stainless steel funnel over the top of the chicken and cover the funnel hole with foil; this will hold the steam in and allow it to circulate and keep the chicken moist. (TIP: The wide opening of the funnel should fit snuggly over the chicken).

Place the beer can chicken in the middle of the grill and close the grill. Let the chicken cook for about 1 hour or until the meat reaches the temperature of 165 degrees.

For conventional ovens: Set the oven to 375 degrees and cook the chicken on the bottom rack. Cook for 1 hour 20


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