Food Matters: Oklahoma Suks beer can chicken; testing chia seed drink

Updated Oct 07, 2014


Beer can chicken in honor of the Red River Showdown

Every fall, right around the time the University of Texas faces Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown, Independence Brewing Co. repackages some of its Austin Amber beer into burnt orange cans for a limited release called Oklahoma Suks. The annual showdown goes down Saturday, and Independence Brewing’s Max Saballett shared his spin on the beer can chicken. He uses both a marinade and a rub, a one-two punch whose salty-sweet succulent rewards are many.

I baked this chicken, but you also could grill or smoke it according to your preferred whole chicken-cooking technique. Just don’t forget the beer in the cavity of the bird. It really helps keep the meat moist during the shorter stint in the high heat. At the same time, letting the skin dry out for a few hours in the fridge after marinating will help keep it crispy.

Beer Can Chicken

For the Dry Rub:

1 Tbsp. sea salt or kosher salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. celery salt

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. coarsely grated black pepper

For the marinade:

1/2 spice mixture (above)

3 oz. freshly squeezed tangerine or orange juice

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 can amber beer, such as Austin Amber (Oklahoma Suks, if you can find it), divided

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

For roasting:

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil to coat

3 to 5 lb. whole chicken, organic if possible

2 fresh rosemary sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 peeled tangerine or orange

Blend the spices together in a small bowl. Divide the mixture in half. Use part of the mixture for the marinade and the other to coat the chicken before roasting.

Mix together the marinade ingredients and put in a large marinating bag or deep dish. Marinate chicken (covered, if using a dish) for an hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven or grill to 375 degrees. Place the remaining 1/2 can of beer in the center of a deep baking dish or roasting pan. (Use a baking sheet if your pan is on the smaller side.) Slip the chicken on top of the can, using its legs as a tripod, so it will stand up straight. Stuff the fresh herbs and citrus into the neck cavity, rub chicken with oil and coat with remaining spice mixture and roast for about 45 minutes, checking to ensure the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest 7 to 10 minutes before serving.

— From Independence Brewing’s Max Saballett


Savory bars get a thumbs up, but what about a chia seed drink?

In last week’s Austin360 Taste Test, Deborah Sengupta Stith and I decided we can get behind a pair of new savory nutrition bars from Mediterra and, as an impromptu follow -up, we did a taste test video in the media tent of the Austin City Limits Music Festival with two new varieties of Kind bars: roasted jalapeño and Thai sweet chili.

In this week’s video, we find out that chia seeds aren’t just for Chia Pets anymore as we try drinks from a company called Mamma Chia. You can see our review at or


Gochujang chili sauce hits Texas stores

Louisville chef Edward Lee — who went head-to-head with Austin’s Paul Qui in Season 9 of “Top Chef” and released an acclaimed cookbook, “Smoke and Pickles,” last year — will return to Texas this week for a cooking class at Central Market that’s tied to a new Gochujang chili sauce from leading Korean foods manufacturer Chung Jung One.

The fermented hot chili paste adds a rich, spicy, umami flavor to just about anything you add it to, from burgers to hummus, and to demonstrate that flexibility, Lee will teach a handful of recipes at a class at 5 p.m. Sunday at the North Lamar Central Market, including this marinated pork loin. The sauce is available at Central Markets across Texas, and you can sign up for the class ($60) at

Gochujang-Marinated Spicy Pork

1 lb. pork loin, sliced into paper thin strips

1/3 cup Gochujang chili sauce, such as Chung Jung One

1 1/2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. garlic, grated on microplane

1 Tbsp. ginger, grated on microplane

Pinch of salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. canola oil

For serving: Rice, lettuce, cilantro, Asian pickles, nori flakes, fresh herbs, such as mint

To prepare the spicy pork marinade, whisk together Gochujang, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Add in the sliced pork and mix until well coated. Cover and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Heat a large 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil to the pan. Sear the pork until golden brown, turning once and allowing the edges to become charred, and pork is cooked through. Add reserved marinade juices to deglaze the pan and reduce until the sauce has thickened into a glaze.

Serve as simply or elaborately as you’d like, on a sandwich or noodles, or in a rice bowl topped with condiments. Serves 4.

— Adapted from a recipe by Edward Lee