In our quest to eat more local produce when possible, I discovered that Scott, one of the guys I play hockey with has a small operation, Winfield’s Farm (the foodie side of his and his wife’s horse farm, Capital Warmbloods, where he sells primarily chicken and lamb and some Angus beef. He is currently thinking of dabbling in Waygu. Wouldn’t that be awesome, a local source for Wagyu beef? The lamb and beef are pastured in summer months, fed a no-corn diet, and the chickens ($3.00 per pound) are free-range. The Winfields have 350 acres just 15 minutes from Ottawa’s downtown core. You can reach Scott at the farm for meat by email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday the “kids” (Hannah and her SO Mike) are coming for dinner and Rob thought he’d like to do some beer can chicken. I’m not sure he has ever done one of these with “beer”. One of the more popular chickens he has prepared by this method is a tropical style, actually dreamed up by Hannah when she was a young teen. It involves ground banana chips (this is the only conceivable use for these nasty little hard buttons of banana in my opinion).
I thought this would be a great time to try some of Scott’s chickens. I ordered up two and he will deliver them to me at our hockey game on Thursday. Cost of delivery? For me? I have to give him a free pass in the defensive zone…once. So, I’ll let him get by but I’ll force him to the center where my defense partner Andrew can take him out 😉
I use this recipe from Michael Smith as a basic guideline for cooking times and technique, but that’s where it ends. We’re making a tropically-inspired bird today. I use a tropical drink, mango juice, instead of beer and add two special ingredients to the BBQ rub: brown sugar (just a bit, because it can burn on the chicken under medium heat) and banana chips. I also use a special beer can chicken apparatus and drip tray I got from a BBQ equipment supplier, because I don’t trust the drumstick tripod integrity of an un-aided chicken perched on a beer can.
It was Hannah’s brainstorm years ago during our first attempt at beer can chicken to grind up some leftover banana chips with a mortar and pestle to add to the spice rub. Combined with the mango juice infused meat, it provides a nice tropical blend of flavours.
For a barbeque sauce, I use a sauce that’s lighter in flavour and sweet (even Diana Sauce for example). If I have it, I’d add a dash of pineapple juice and soy sauce to it. It’s important to wait until the last 15 minutes or so on the grill, to “paint” the chicken with the sauce blend, otherwise the sugars in the sauce will cause it to brown too much.