by Lauren Follett, BA, RHN, Registered Nutritionist
With months of warm weather ahead of us, I’m anxious to move on from soups, stews and cooking indoors in general. I love to keep it simple in the summer: choose a protein to barbecue, make a fresh salad and that’s it!
I like to make more substantial salads if that’s the only other part of the meal; adding quinoa, organic edamame beans, barbecued whole-wheat pita or roasted root vegetables like sweet potato or beets. That way you get your raw veggies and healthy carbs all in one dish!
We usually barbecue salmon or rainbow trout on a cedar plank, pork tenderloin, chicken thighs or one of my favourites – a sitting chicken! A sitting chicken is more commonly known as beer can chicken (place a whole chicken on top of a large beer can), but I avoid using a beer can, as cooking with aluminum can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. I never cook with aluminum foil either – parchment paper all the way!
A sitting chicken requires purchasing a ceramic chicken roasting dish. My husband recently got the Big Green Egg barbecue (he’s now part of the exclusive group of people called “egg heads” – don’t ask, it’s a guy thing) and bought the Sittin’ Chicken Ceramic Roaster that comes with it. It’s available at most hardware stores, and can be used on regular gas and propane barbecues as well. I also stumbled across this website that sells stoneware for roasting whole chickens. I’d recommend picking up one of these so you can enjoy delicious, easy, healthy barbecued chicken all summer long!
Here’s my recipe for Sittin’ Chicken – enjoy!
Barbecued Sittin’ Chicken
1 whole Free From or Organic Chicken (available at Costco)
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. dry mustard
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
½ (12 fluid ounce) can beer (enjoy the other half while cooking)
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat, about 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Mix the coconut sugar, chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Pour the half can of beer into your ceramic roasting dish.
Rinse chicken under cold water and discard giblets and neck. Pat dry. Place on top of roaster with the legs at the bottom; keep upright. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the spice mix into the top cavity (beer may bubble up). Rub the remaining spices over the entire surface.
Place the chicken, standing on the roaster, directly on the preheated grill. Close the lid and barbeque until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 1 hour 15 minutes. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C).
Remove from the grill and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil (ok to use in this case as you’re not cooking with it), and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing – enjoy!