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The Best Laid Plans from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

Martas kitchen logo 1 copy-1

I had a wonderful master plan.

I swear did.

I know I’ve been AWOL for a while now. I’ve been taking some much needed time off from cooking and blogging. Rest assured, I am still cooking and I am still blogging. I just haven’t done them concurrently for the past couple of months, but that’s not important right now.

So I was all set to wow you today.

I was going to amaze you with a wonderful recipe for Beer Butt (ahem…) Can Chicken.

So I got not one, but two! birds cleaned and marinating in the garlicky goodness that is Mojo Criollo*.

I even purchased beer. In cans! An entire six-pack! Which I never, ever do because my husband only drinks dark English beer which comes in bottles, but that's not important right now either.

So, back to the marinating…

I pulled out the seriously mojo’d chicken. I drained the marinade and rubbed on some of my uber-tasty dry garlicky rub.

When I went to get the beer cans for the birds to sit on, I found they were gone. Vanished. What do you suppose could have happened to them?

Apparently now I have to add post-it notes to items in my own refrigerator to alert the other inhabitants of Chez Darby (who shall remain nameless) with an explanation that I’m planning to use those items in a recipe and please don't just consume those items willy-nilly. Yes, those other inhabitants who usually only drink dark English beer in bottles. (Hello?!) *sigh*

Okay, fine. I am a World-Class Resolvedora (is that a word?).  I’ll just use Coke.

So I prepare the Coke cans and I manage to balance the birds in a tripod stance. I march out to our gas barbecue only to find that we are (what??) Out. Of. Gas.

Shut. UP. This is sooo not happening.

But seriously, I am an Olympic Gold-Medal Caliber Resolvedora.

I reason that cooking the chicken in my covered gas barbecue is like using an outdoor OVEN. Hmm...

“But, Marta, everyone knows you can’t make Beer Coke Butt Can Chicken in a regular oven!”

You don’t know me very well, do you?  ;-)


Oven Baked Beer Coke Can Chicken

Two 3-4 lb. whole chickens
Mojo Criollo Marinade*
2 -12 oz. cans beer (or Coke or any canned beverage will do)
Garlicky Barbecue Rub*

*Mojo Criollo Marinade
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Oregano
8 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients together to make marinade.
Mojo Criollo-type marinade is also available in bottles.

*Garlicky Barbecue Rub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sea salt
1/4 cup pimentón (or regular paprika)
ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
Mix together (go ahead and just use your fingers) all ingredients.


1. Marinade the chicken at least 4 hours in the Mojo Criollo.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from marinade and pat dry.
4. Pat the Garlicky Barbecue Rub all over the birds.
5. Open your cans as much as possible by using a church key type opener.

opened cans
6. Pour out about a third of the liquid. (Or you could just drink it! D’oh! =D)
7. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
8. Insert the beer (or Coke or other beverage of choice) can into the chicken. Open the cavity of the chicken and spread over the can forming a “tripod” with the two legs with the can being the third. (Trust me, you do not want to see an "action" photo of this.)

tripod bird
9. Place the pan in the oven being careful not to tip over the chicken.

birds in the oven
10. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Or when temperature is at least 180 degrees in the meatiest part of the thigh (avoid the bone).
11. Drink the rest of the beer while you’re waiting and have a good laugh over how the pair of birds seem to be having a which-is-better-beer-or-coke argument. ;-)

4 comments to The Best Laid Plans from Marta’s Cuban American Kitchen

  • FreedomForCuba


    That's some stand-up chicken in the oven if you ask me....LOL

  • Orgullosa de ser Cubana

    If resolvedora is not an actual word, they should make it so, and under the meaning they should just say "read Marta Darby's blog"...he he he. Good to have you back, I've missed your great recipes.

  • Mr. Mojito

    Where's the Corona ?

  • Laughing thinking of that chicken squatting over the can.

    Smiling thinking about my dad having to 'splain to me what a church key was.

    Frowning thinking about how much mojo criollo sauce costs in Milwaukee, especially remembering what it cost in Miami.