Beer Can Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I love the simple idea of seasoning a chicken and barbecuing or roasting it on a can of your favorite beer; the result is a very juicy and deeply flavorful bird. The brown sugar and chile in the Amber N2 spice blend create a sweet and savory caramelization on the chicken and flavor the juices that are released during cooking, which the sweet potatoes then soak up.

Amber N.2 – Recipe by Elizabeth Karmel from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 whole roasting chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, preferably organic

Extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup Amber N.2 spice blend, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

One 12-ounce can beer

2 medium sweet potatoes – washed, halved and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

Instructions

1. Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the chicken lightly with oil and season all over with 2 tablespoons of Amber spice blend and salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. Build a charcoal fire, preheat a gas grill or preheat an oven to 350°. Open the beer can, pour out (or drink) about 1/4 cup of the beer and make an extra hole in the top of the can. With a church-key can opener. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the Amber inside the beer can. Place the beer can in a baking dish and position the chicken on top of the beer can. Place the dish in the oven or on the center of the cooking grate over indirect medium heat.

3. Cover the grill and cook the chicken (or roast in the oven) for about 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature in the breast area registers 165° on an instant-read thermometer (180° in the thigh).

4. While the chicken cooks, toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Amber and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sweet potatoes to the baking pan with the chicken for the final 45 minutes of cooking, turning the potatoes a few times.

5. Holding the can with tongs, Carefully transfer the chicken to a platter. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving with the sweet potatoes.