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Dr Pepper Soda Can Chicken

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I’ll be honest. Whole chickens freak me out. Sorry mom, I’m about to rat you out and share your weirdness. I think this is because my mother finds any chickens with bones, fat, or skin absolutely nasty. We never ate anything besides boneless, skinless, chicken breasts as a kid. That’s when we could. The biggest tip I can offer you is that you should line your pan with foil. Speaking of foil….

Did you know apparently there’s a right side and wrong side to using foil??? I didn’t. We went camping with scouts and we had our own “camping chef”. Bill loves camping and I must say he’s great at the whole camping bit. I just am not. The bugs scare me, the ticks freak me out, snakes make me want to curl up in a ball and fail to exist, and the thought of bears thrills me and terrifies me all at the same time. He really taught me a lot to help me overcome my camping fears. One of the things the older kids did was hobo dinners. By the way… hobo dinners is apparently politically incorrect now!! Now they are called foil pack dinners, or turtle dinners. I ripped off the foil big enough to make them and had them whichever way. Bill’s like Heather stop a minute. Then he goes to show me there’s a shinny side and a side that’s not so shinny. He tells me spray the shinny side. That’s the side you’re supposed to use. I was pretty confused, but quickly realized AFTER a few were done with the wrong side…he’s right! So folks, don’t use the wrong side of the foil. Shinny side to the food you’re cooking!

1 1⁄2 tsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. kosher salt

3⁄4 tsp. granulated garlic

3⁄4 tsp. light brown sugar

1⁄2 tsp. chili powder

1⁄2 tsp. black pepper

1 whole chicken (3–4 lb.)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 can Dr Pepper (12 oz.), 3/4 cup reserved for sauce

Preheat grill or oven. Combine paprika, salt, garlic, brown sugar, chili powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Remove excess fat and skin from the chicken. Sprinkle about 2-3 teaspoons of the rub inside the chicken cavity. Brush outside of the chicken with 1 Tbsp. oil, then sprinkle with the remaining rub, pressing. Pour 3⁄4 cup Dr Pepper into a measuring cup and set aside for the sauce. Arrange chicken cavity on can. Pull the chicken legs forward to form a tripod with the can serving as the rear leg. Place chicken over unlit portion of the grill; or on a foil lined pan cover and cook until skin is golden and crisp, juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer registers 180°; 1–11⁄4 hours, rotating the chicken halfway through grilling. Remove chicken; let rest 15 minutes.

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