Roasted Beer Can Chicken with new potatoes and fennel:
1 whole roasting chicken
1 bulb fennel, cored and sliced
6 new potatoes, quartered (skin on)
2 cloves garlic (1 crushed, 1 minced)
2 tbsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
fresh ground black pepper
1 can beer (We do not drink alcohol, but each year I buy a 6 pack and put it away. I have several recipes that use beer, and would not be as good without it! ~ Just don't tell my congregation :) )
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and set oven rack to lowest position. Remove any innards from the whole chicken, and rinse inside and outside with cool water, rub inside cavity with salt, set aside. Take beer can and pour out 1/2. Insert the crushed garlic clove into can, and sprinkle some poultry seasoning and cayenne pepper inside. Set beer can in center of 9x13" pyrex dish.
"Impale" chicken with beer can, arranging legs, so chicken sits upright in baking dish. Drizzle chicken generously with olive oil. Using your hands, rub generously with poultry seasoning, being sure to get in between skin and meat if you can. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne. Arrange new potatoes and fennel slices arround chicken in dish, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and some of the fennel fronds. Place on bottom rack of oven, and bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes. (Use a meat thermometer for safety!)
Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then carefully remove beer can from chicken (using tongs) remembering that beer can will be very hot! Carve, and serve with veggies (they will be flavored with the chicken drippings.)
Note: Fennel is sometimes call Anise. It is a white colored bult (kind of onion-like) with green stalks coming off of it (kind of celery-like) with wisypy fronds at the top (like dill). It has a licorise flavor, and is great if fall and winter dishes. I have trouble finding it around me, but found some at a whole-foods type store in mobile recently, so I pulled out this old recipe. I urge you look for it, you'll really like it!