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The Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen Bavarian Buzzard-Bird
By Cary Black

Here’s another recipe from Cary Black, the author of Zen and the Art of Cooking Beer-Can Chicken: The Definitive Guide.

First of of all, I like to wish “Happy Greetings” to all you wonderful vendors at the 9th Annual World Beer Expo in Ypsilanti last month. It was awesome meeting all of the vendors and using your fine products to cook our brined turkey samples. We couldn’t keep enough samples on deck….I think next year we’ll use two grills and a cooking staff for a continuous supply of samples….Thanks to the Michigan Brewers Guild for letting us play with all you lovers of fine brews at the expo!

We are happy that the cookbook is beginning to enjoy national prominance as the one stop source for all things related to cooking, brining, and injecting beer-can chicken or turkey. The book was written for those lovers of the “beer-can” approach to cooking poultry. You can use a beer can or one of the new infusion cookers designed to simplify the process. Visit www.redowlpublications.com for your copy of the cook book and/or to purchase an infusion cooker. There nothing finer then to enjoy a nice meal with friends; especially when it involves fine beer, and the tastiest chicken possible.

In this edition of the Michigan Beer Guide, Rex indicated we should feature an Oktoberfest theme brew. Since the deadline for this article is early in the Oktoberfest season, we opted to use a fine German import. Please note that many of the excellent Michigan brewed Oktoberfests being released this month will suit this recipe perfectly. Try one or try them all…could be a concept for fun party!

The Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen is a fine German Oktoberfest lager hailing from Upper Bavaria. It pours with a deep bronze-golden color. The beer does not kick out an intense hop essence, but instead emphasizes a malty character. Hints of caramel, nuts, and chocolate with a malty sweetness emerge from this Bavarian brew. Traditionally, this style of beer is brewed and cellared in March, then lagered until the German beer festival through September to October (thus, the name Marzen (March)). In several critical assessments, this brew has been noted to go well with roast chicken. We thought it would be perfect to add this malty mixture as the flavor essence to a fine Bavarian beer-can chicken concoction!

Cary Black

The Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen Bavarian Buzzard-Bird

Basic Stuff
1 3 to 6 lb. chicken
1 onion chopped
2 c. prepared chopped cabbage
2 c. green beans chopped into 2 inch segments
2 c. Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen
1 c. vegetable or extra virgin olive oil
10 small red potatoes

2 Tbs. Kosher or Sea Salt
2 Tbs. pepper
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. ground rosemary
1 Tbs. ground thyme
1 tsp. celery powder

Liquid Flavor Essence
12 to 15 oz. of the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen beer

Cooking Directions
In a frying pan, heat up a ½ c. of olive oil, and add the onions, green beans and chopped cabbage. Sautee for about 5 minutes and add the 2 c. of the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen. Cook for another 5 minutes, discard the liquid and set the veggies aside.

Add 12 to 15 oz. of the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen to the flavor base of the infusion cooker. (If using a beer can, fill about half-way full with the beer then place in a pie pan for support)

Place bird on the beer can, or over flavor tower of the infusion cooker. Place infusion tower over the base. Using a basting brush, paint the critter with the remaining olive oil and generously apply the rub.

Around the base of the bird, arrange the red potatoes and sauteed onion, green bean and cabbage concoction. Season the vegetables with a dash of salt a bit of pepper and a rather generous application of garlic powder.

In a conventional oven, cook at 350 for 1½ hours or until the drippings are clear and the leg quarters move easily in their joints. Thigh temperature should be about 180 degrees F. If grilling, follow the indirect heating method where the bird is not sitting over the hottest part of the heat source.

Serve with lots of fine sourdough bread, and a nice tossed green salad. Drink to the health of your family and friend’s and enjoy the hearty Marzen enhanced tastes of this fine Upper Bavarian recipe.