Monday, 6 April 2009

Allotmenticity - 06-04-09 Aston FM Sod It Grow Your Own

What a fabulous weekend. I managed to get in half a row of earlies, Arran Pilot. I'm seriously trying to stagger everything this year to avoid gluts.
Also sowed loads of brassicas, sweetcorn and herbs and tidied up the plot. I've also used an old dustbin for a potato barrel. Just banged a load of holes in the base and put about 4" of compost from B&M (used to be Woolies), then 5 seed potatoes and then another 2"-3" of compost.
I'm picking some lovely Purple Sprouting Broccoli. It's so much tastier than the supermarket stuff and is picked and on the plate within the hour.
This is Ethel & Cecil who made an appearance at the weekend. It's amazing who you meet down on the land at times!

And here's a Spider from Mars! I found this in the cupboard in a bag I'd obviously forgotten about.
I do have an issue with some of the shops selling seed potatoes with similar growths. Obviously stored at too high a temperature and with no thought. Avoid at all costs.

Congratulations to "allot of veg" who correctly identified last weeks mystery object as a Rhubarb flower. The full picture is seen here. It's amazing the colour of flowers vegetables and fruit have.

The recipe this week is courtesy of a great friend who is an actor in LA. This can be adapted to different themes by using alternative beers and rubs. It's really tasty and certainly a talking point.


The Captain.

1 can (12 ounces) beer
1 chicken (31/2 to 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons Barbecue Rub (recipes below)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil


1/4 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

Put the salt, brown sugar, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix.

First, pop the tab off the beer can and drink half of the beer!
Make 2 additional holes in the can just above halfway. Set the can of beer aside. Remove the packet of giblets from the body cavity of the chicken and set aside for another use. Remove and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water and then drain and blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the rub inside the body cavity and 1/2 teaspoon inside the neck cavity of the chicken. Drizzle the oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with 1 tablespoon of rub and rub it all over the skin. Spoon the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of rub into the beer through a hole in the top of the can. Don’t worry if the beer foams up: This is normal.

Hold the bird upright, with the opening of the body cavity at the bottom, and lower it onto the beer can so the can fits into the cavity. Pull the chicken legs forward to form a sort of tripod, so the bird stands upright. The rear leg of the tripod is the beer can.
Stand the chicken up in the center of the hot grill, over the drip pan and away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and very crisp and the meat is cooked through (about 180F on an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh, but not touching the bone), 75mins to 90mins. If using a charcoal grill, you’ll need to add fresh coals either side after 1 hour. If the chicken skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the bird with aluminum foil.

Using tongs, hold the bird by the can and carefully transfer it in an upright position to a platter. If cooking on a roaster: Use oven mitts or pot holders to remove the bird from the grill

Present the bird to your guests. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then carefully lift it off its support. Take care not to spill the hot beer or otherwise burn yourself. Halve, quarter, or carve the chicken and serve.

(This works just as well in the oven by standing the chicken in a roasting tray on the oven bottom)

Here are some alternative ideas,

The Roppongi Roaster


  • 1/4 cup dark miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon wasabi paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


  • 12-ounce can of Sapporo (drink half, use the rest here!)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • a chunk of ginger

Toscana in a Can


  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons diced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 6 ounces Prosecco poured into an empty 12-ounce beer can
  • garlic cloves
  • a few fresh rosemary sprigs


Matron said...

Isn't it great when you can get out in the sunshine and get stuff done! I've got my potatoes in too. Nothing like a bit of outdoor digging to blow out the Winter cobwebs. Happy gardening Captain!

Andrea n Dave said...

What a lovely surprise the postman brought this morning! Thankyou so much for the coriander seeds n undeniably cool fridge magnet!
Hope u n Cissy are OK.

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