"Beer Can" Chicken with Brown Sugar-Mustard Glaze and Bourbon Pan Gravy

Serves : 4-6

Comments: This recipe give you a chicken with a deliciously glazed, crispy, salty, sweet skin. If you have a vertical roaster, you can use that instead of the beer can. And you really only need to make the gravy if you plan on serving this with mashed potatoes or stuffing on the side.



  • 1 whole chicken (6 to 7 pounds), neck and giblets saved if desired
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) can of beer (see comments above)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • salt and pepper


Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Score the skin a few times on both the breast and back, and then stick fingers under the chicken skin to loosen from body.

Combine the salt, baking powder, and black pepper in small bowl. Sprinkle the salt mixture evenly over the chicken, and then rub the mixture in with your hands. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Open the beer can and pour out (or drink) half the liquid. (Alternately, fill the vertical roaster with beer or broth.) Spray the can lightly with nonstick cooking spray and then place it in the middle of a roasting pan. Slide the chicken over the can so that the chicken stands upright. Place the chicken in the oven and roast until the skin is golden and an instant-read thermometer registers just shy of160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast and 170 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh (approximately 90 to 120 minutes, though these times can vary quite a bit depending on your oven and the size of the bird.)

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and mustard. Brush chicken with the glaze and place 1 1/2 cups of water in the bottom of the roasting pan (along with the neck and giblets if you saved them) and return it to the oven. Cook just 3-5 minutes more or until the glaze starts to brown and bubble. Watch it carefully! The high sugar content in the glaze can cause it to burn quickly.

Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before transferring to carving board. While the chicken is resting, make the pan gravy in the roasting pan. Place pan on the stove, add the broth, and bring the broth plus drippings to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is brown and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has again reduced a bit, about 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the neck and giblets. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy reaches desired thickness, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bourbon, and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and season (liberally!) with salt and pepper. Pour gravy through a fine-mesh sieve into a serving container. Serve immediately with sliced chicken.