Beer Can Chicken served with Oregano and Cheese Damper – a great combo for Australia Day (today)!

Today’s Australia Day (26th January) and in honour I have selected some appropriate recipes from   This one serves 6 and is delicious.  The chicken is lovely and succulent and the damper is a perfect accompaniment.   It features another use for beer as well as drinking it which is a bonus.   Happy Australia Day everyone!

Beer can chicken

delicious. – February 2012 , Page 60
Recipe by Valli Little

Photography by Brett Stevens

  • You’ll need a barbecue with a hood or a lid for this recipe.


  • 1.8kg whole chicken
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 375ml can Australian lager
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into thin wedges
  • Watercress and oregano and cheese damper (see below), to serve

Mustard dressing

  • 1 tbs wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (100g) whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure (thin) cream

Oregano & cheese damper (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • 1 cup (160g) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 60g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup (60g) grated tasty cheese
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) milk, plus extra to brush
  • 1 tbs grated parmesan
  1. Preheat a barbecue to medium-high. Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Combine butter, honey, paprika and two-thirds of the garlic in a bowl and season. Pour one-third of the beer from the can, then push the lemon wedges and remaining garlic inside the can. Place the beer can upright on the bench, then sit the chicken on top so that the can is inside the cavity. Baste the chicken with the honey marinade and transfer to the barbecue. Close the lid and cook, basting occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through (the juices should run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer). Remove the chicken from the barbecue – be careful as the can will be very hot. Allow to cool slightly, then remove the beer can from the cavity and discard. Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, for the dressing, combine mustard, lemon juice, honey, garlic, sherry vinegar, mayonnaise and cream in a bowl. Season and set aside.
  4. To make oregano & cheese damper: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and lightly flour a large baking tray.
  5. Sift flours into a large bowl with 1 tsp salt. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add oregano and tasty cheese and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour in milk and 1/4 cup (60ml) water, stirring to combine until you have a soft dough.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 1-2 minutes until almost smooth. Shape into a 22cm round loaf and place on the baking tray. Score a cross on the top of the damper with a floured knife, then brush with milk and sprinkle over parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden, firm and the base sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
  7. Serve the chicken with watercress, damper and mustard dressing.

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