Beer Can Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vidalia Onions

  • Rating ****

Serves 4

In our family, you bet Beer Can Chicken is a staple. We’re always adding new twists to the recipe. Lately we’ve been hooked on serving it with these fantastic quick-pickled Vidalia onions — a classic Southern ingredient with an addicting amount of kick and pucker. No surprise here, but a Beer Can Shandy goes really well with this dish.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • One 3 1/2-pound whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 14.9-ounce can beer
  • Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vidalia Onions, for serving

  • For the Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vidalia Onions:
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of sugar


FOR THE SWEET AND SPICY PICKLED VIDALIA ONIONS: Place the onion in a bowl. Toss with the vinegar, salt, cayenne and sugar. Let the mixture stand for at least 30 minutes before serving.


In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard, brown sugar, chili powder and garlic.

Season the chicken generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Slather the chicken inside and out with the mustard mixture.

Prepare the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high heat.

Pop open the beer can and pour out (or slurp up) the top 2 inches of beer. Place the beer can on a solid surface away from the grill. Place the bird cavity over the beer can.

Stand the chicken and beer upright on the grill grate. Close the cover and cook until the juices run clear when the chicken is pricked in the thigh with a fork, about 1 1/4 hours.

Remove the chicken from the grill and let stand for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with Sweet and Spicy Pickled Vidalia Onions.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved.

RecID 10776

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