This is her recipe, including her notes, which make me smile and miss her and wish she didn't live so damn far away...
Beer Can Chicken
12-oz can of beer per chicken3.5-4 lb chicken 2 tsp vegetable oil 2+ tbs rub: 1/4 cup coarse salt 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup paprika 2 tbs pepper (store the extra rub in a ziploc in a cool, dark place for months)2 cups wood chips (preferably hickory or cherry, available at the grocery store) soaked for at least an hour in water or beer to cover, then drained (as long as overnight)Heavy-duty aluminum foil (heavy-duty as they have)
Set up the grill for indirect grilling. Preheat on high. Using foil, make a pouch for the wood chips--similar to how we used to wrap hot-beef sandwiches. Poke a few holes in the top of the pouch. Place it under the grate over one of the burners. Reduce the grill heat to medium once you see smoke or the grill is hot. Pour half the beer over the wood chips (or drink it). Use a church key can opener to make 2 more holes in the top. I usually remove the tab, too. Set aside.Clean out and rinse the chicken, then blot dry inside and out with paper towels. Sprinkle at least a teaspoon of rub inside the body cavity and the neck cavity. Drizzle oil over the outside of the bird and rub or brush it all over the skin. This is important--it keeps the bird from burning. Do NOT use olive oil--it has too low of a smoke point and you will have a flaming chicken! Pour a little oil in your palm and go to town like she's getting a massage. Sprinkle the outside of the bird with at least 1 tbs of the rub and rub it all over. Try to get some under the skin as much as possible without tearing it. Spoon 1.5 tsp of rub into the beer can--don’t worry if it foams up, that's normal. Put the beer can on a sturdy cutting board or platter. Hold the bird upright and stick 'er on the can, pretty much as far as she'll go. Pull the legs forward to form a tripod of sorts, which should allow the bird to stand upright. (The can is the rear leg of the tripod.) Tuck the tips of the wings behind the chicken's back.Place the bird on the unlit part of the grill. Close the lid and cook the chicken until the skin is a dark golden brown and crisp, and the meat is cooked through. I use a meat thermometer and check the thigh area, looking for it to be about 180 degrees. Should take anywhere from 75 to 90 mins, possibly a little longer depending on the heat. If the chicken starts to brown too much, tent it with foil.When she's done, don the gloves and take her off by grabbing the can with one hand and holding the top of the bird steady with the other, then place on a platter. You can usually get the bird off the can easily by using the neck opening as a place to grab and pull up while holding the can with the other hand. Be careful not to spill the beer--definitely high stain factor, not to mention really hot. Cut into sections and serve. Perfect summer food!
I will admit, with little to no shame whatsoever, that just after that photo was taken, my mother and I made the chickens do the can-can and cried from laughing so hard. Random silliness is a genetic trait in my family, and also my favorite thing about them. Silliness happens a lot at the lake. Another reason I love it.