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Chili-Head Chicken

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 1-1/4 hours


6 servings

Mesquite chips can be used for additional flavor. Dark stout beer doesn't usually come in 12 ounce cans. Another clean beverage can or an upright chicken roaster can be used.


  • 1-1/2 cups dark stout beer, divided
  • 2 dried pasilla chilies
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 empty 12-ounce beverage can


  1. Place 3/4 cup beer in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave, uncovered, for 1-1/2 minutes or until very hot. Remove stems and seeds from chilies; add chilies to the beer. Let stand for 20 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving 4 tablespoons seasoned beer. Set chilies aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, pepper and cayenne; set aside 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix.
  3. In a blender, combine the oil, 2 tablespoons seasoned beer jalapeno pepper, reserved chilies, and remaining seasoning mix; cover and process until a smooth thick paste forms, adding additional seasoned beer if necessary.
  4. Loosen skin from around the chicken breast, thighs and legs. Rub the chili paste under the skin. Tuck wing tips behind the back. Rub any remaining paste into the body and neck cavities. Sprinkle chicken with reserved seasoning mix.
  5. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Poke additional holes in top of the empty can with a can opener. Pour the remaining 3/4 cup beer into the can. Holding the chicken with legs pointed down, lower chicken over the can so it fills the body cavity.
  6. Place chicken over drip pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°. Remove chicken from grill; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from can.
Editor’s Note: When handling chilies, disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face.
Peppers (Hot)
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

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