Lacquered Saigon Chicken on a Beer Can

Recipe by TishT
READY IN: 25hrs 30mins
YIELD: 1 bird




  • Make the marinade: Place the soy sauce, wine, sesame oil, garlic, coriander, five-spice powder, and cinnamon in a large nonreactive bowl and whisk to mix.
  • Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use.
  • Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities.
  • Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towls.
  • Place the garlic and ginger in the main cavity of the chicken.
  • Place the chicken in the bowl with the marinade or place the chicken and marinade in a large resealable plastic bag.
  • Let marinate in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, turning the bird several times so it marinates evenly.
  • Pop the tab off the beer can.
  • Pour half of the beer over the soaking wood chips or chunks, if using or reserve for another use.
  • Make 2 additional holes in the top of the beer can and set aside. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard marinade.
  • Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity.
  • Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright.
  • The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.
  • Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chickens back.
  • Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium.
  • If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center.
  • If using a gas grill, place all the wood chips or chunks, if using, in the smoker box or a smoker pouch and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium.
  • When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all the wood chips on the coals, stand the chicken upright in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat.
  • Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through (about 180F), about 1 1/2- 1 1/2 hours.
  • If using a charcoal grill, you need to add 12 fresh coals per side after 1 hour.
  • If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.
  • Using tongs, hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. Present the bird to your guests.
  • Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off the support.
  • Take care not to spill the hot beer or othewise burn yourself.
  • Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve with Spicy Peanut Sauce (you can buy it at the store or make from scratch).