Since grilling season has been upon us Matt seems to be craving baked beans. I really never knew until this year what a fan of them he was. So, when we saw this recipe for Bean Butt Chicken in Mastering the Grill: The Owner's Manual for Outdoor Cooking we knew we had to try it. Nothing like pairing our love of roast chicken with baked beans!
Basically Bean Butt Chicken is made like Beer Can Chicken but you are cooking the chicken on an open can of baked beans allowing all the yummy chicken fat to flavor them. I really loved the Fragrant Chili Rub on the chicken & in the beans. It made the skin of the chicken taste fabulous & gave the beans a little zing! We have a lot of the rub leftover so we'll be trying it on some other grilled meat soon.
Fragrant Chili Rub
2 T kosher salt
2 T paprika
1 t brown sugar
1 T ground ancho chile
1 to 3 t ground chipotle chile (make it as hot as you like)
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground pepper
Combine all ingredients. Can be stored for 1 month in an airtight container at room temperature.
Bean Butt Chicken
1 4-lb chicken, washed & dried
2 T + 1 t Fragrant Chili Rub
3 t canola oil
1 16-oz can baked beans (look for the thin tall can instead of the squat ones as it will fit in the chicken better. Our favorite beans came in a squat can so we washed out another thin can & put them in that.)
Heat the grill to 325 - 350 F. You want to cook over indirect heat so for a gas grill leave some burners off.
Rub the chicken inside & out with 2 T of the Chili Rub. Stir the other 1 t of the rub into the beans. Rub the outside of the chicken with 2 t of oil. Rub the remaining 1 t of oil on the outside of the bean can. Lower the chicken onto the can so it goes into the internal cavity. Position the bird so the legs help it stand up.
Put the chicken & can on the grill away from the direct heat. Cover & cook until a thermometer registers 170 F at the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the chicken & can to a baking sheet or cutting board. Use tongs to help hold the can while you twist & lift the bird off of it. The bird will be hot so use a dish towel or oven mitt to hold it. Let the chicken rest a few minutes then, carve & serve with the beans.