Cooking on a beer can is nothing new: in Australia they’ve been doing it for years. The secret is that the beer keeps the inside of the chicken nice and moist while it’s cooking on the barbecue.

To make your summer barbecue extra special this year, we’ve got James Martin’s delicious recipe for his succulent beer can piri piri chicken with garlic butter jacket potatoes. You’ll need a barbecue with a lid, and you can cook the jacket potatoes in foil alongside. With added garlic butter at the end, this makes a truly delicious summertime meal.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

  • 11⁄2 tablespoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon hot smoked paprika

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 limes
  • 3 lemons
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 x 2kg whole chicken
  • 4 baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 can of beer, half full
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 head of lettuce, root removed and leaves separated
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1⁄4 cucumber, cut in half lengthways, then into slices
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Put both the paprikas, chilli flakes, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, the juice of
1 lime and of 1 lemon into a bowl and mix to a paste. Pour the paste into a large plastic bag, then add the olive oil and the chicken. Seal at the end and shake around so that the chicken is covered in spices.
  2. Prick the potatoes, then rub with a little oil, salt and black pepper, and wrap each one in foil. Place 1 garlic bulb on another sheet of foil and drizzle with oil, then twist tight.
  3. Cut the second garlic bulb in half and place inside the chicken, then manoeuvre the half- full beer can into the bottom of the chicken too. The beer will bubble up and create steam inside the chicken, keeping it moist as it cooks, but you only need the can to be half full otherwise it will spill over.
  4. Put the potatoes and garlic on a barbecue, then place the chicken upright, standing on the beer can in the centre. Make a silver
foil collar for the base of the chicken to protect it slightly, then cover with a lid and roast for 15 minutes. Remove the garlic bulb and roast for another 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender. If you want to cook this in a roasting tray in the oven, you will probably need to place the chicken on a low shelf to fit it in. Cook the garlic for 15 minutes and the chicken and potatoes for 45–60 minutes, at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  5. Take the cooked garlic out of the foil and allow to cool. Cut the top off the bulb and squeeze the cooked garlic out into a bowl. Add the chives and the softened butter, and mix together.
  6. Toss the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber together in a large serving bowl, and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Cut the remaining limes and lemons into chunks.
  7. Place the cooked chicken on the beer can in the centre of a serving platter. Loosen the foil from the potatoes, cut a cross in the top of them, squeeze gently and spoon the garlic butter on top. Place them around the chicken and garnish with the lemons and limes.

Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food Show Summer . Photography: Peter Cassidy