Caipirinha 'beer can' chicken

Caipirinha 'beer can' chicken

Cabana The Cookbook
Martin Poole

In Brasil, roast chicken is sometimes known as ‘television chicken’ (frango de televisão) because the family dog can often be found with its head pressed to the oven, watching it cook. Our television chicken uses the flavours of a caipirinha and a can cooking method to create a succulent, sweet and sticky roast that can be cooked on the barbecue or in the oven. The can means that the chicken steams from the inside out, making the meat extra juicy and tender.


Quantity Ingredient
1 medium chicken
olive oil, for drizzling
5 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cachaca
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the steam marinade

Quantity Ingredient
2 large limes, juiced
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
3 tablespoons cachaca
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
5-6 large sage leaves, finely chopped


  1. Light the barbecue (preferably one with a lid), and let the flames die down before starting to cook, or preheat the oven to 200°C. (If using charcoal, put most of the hot coals around the edges so there is indirect but even heat in the middle. If using a gas barbecue, set it to medium.)
  2. Remove and discard the giblets and any excess fat in the cavity of the chicken. Rub it with a little olive oil, then rub it inside and outside with salt, pepper and chopped sage. Put all the ingredients for the steam marinade in a jug and stir to dissolve the sugar. Take an empty can and peel off any labels. Wash it out well, then pour in the marinade ingredients. Wrap the outside of a small heavy-based roasting tin with kitchen foil, then place the can in the middle. Sit the chicken on the can so that the top of it enters the cavity and the bird is upright. Spread out the legs to support the bird’s weight. Take a squeezed lime half and pop it into the neck of the chicken to make a plug, or cover the neck cavity with foil to prevent the steam escaping while it cooks.
  3. Roast for 45–55 minutes, until the chicken is almost cooked. Mix the remaining cachaça and sugar and carefully brush it over the chicken. Cook for 10–15 minutes, until golden and the juices run clear. Remove and let rest for 10–15 minutes. Carefully transfer to a serving plate, carve and serve it drizzled with the marinade, which will have reduced to a thick and tasty sauce.
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