The Pencilneck’s ® Colonoscopy Chicken

D ad! What’re you doing to that chicken?!?!”

Hudson was half horrified and half delighted when he first watched me create this mess. Colonoscopy Chicken my spin on the world-famous Beer Can chicken recipe from Steven Raichlen’s fantastic book ‘How to Grill’.

As the boys were just 3 and 5 at this time, I didn’t want to send the message that beer is now in the diet (although hypocritically, I put booze in most things I cook), so I rejiggered the recipe so as to kid myself that it’s somehow more child-friendly.

Whatever. But this recipe is terrific!


The Fixin’s

  • 1 can of 7-up or Sprite, and diet works if you’re low carb
  • 2 lemons
  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • White wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Lots of bacon
  • Applewood chips for smoking (for the chicken, YOU don’t smoke them)


A little prep

Zest the lemons, add salt, oregano and pressed garlic in a dish.

Dribble a small amount of white wine vinegar to make a thick paste.

Light one-half of your grill. I’m a charcoal snob, but since this cooks by indirect heat, it really is easier to manage with propane. Soak the apple chips in hottish water.

Drink half the 7up and dump in a great big pinch of salt.  Now clean up the foaming mess you’ve just made all over the counter and try again.

Add juice from lemons and a big wad of oregano and more smashed up garlic.

Sprinkle the 4 empty lemon halves with oregano and salt.



Massage chicken with vinegar paste and mutter apologies as you insert the 4 lemon halves up its caboose.

Then, ease the astonished chicken onto the seasoned half-empty can of 7 up.

Tuck the bird’s wings behind its back in a provocative pose and modestly drape bacon over neck opening, breasts, and top of drumsticks.

Drain apple chips and toss into smoker box or click this link to look up how to make a foil smoke pouch.

Place foil drip pan on unlit side of grill, pour in enough water or apple juice to cover bottom of pan and carefully set chicken upright on the pan, using the protruding can and the drumsticks to balance.

Close lid. Cackle maniacally.


The Final Lap

In about 40 mins, remove the now crisp bacon from bird, being careful not to tip your chicken. Drape with fresh bacon, and close lid.

Eat that crispy bacon, right where you stand!

Drape with fresh bacon, and close lid. Breathe deeply and wish you had more of that bacon…

In another 30 mins or so, carefully remove the second coat of bacon and scarf it down before anyone sees you.

Close lid, and in a few more minutes, the bird will be perfectly browned.

If the drumstick waggles loosely in its socket, it’s done!

Be careful moving the bird and taking everything apart. It’s hot. There’re juices and things aching to slop out onto the floor and/or burn you.

Serve with appropriate “Ta-Da”s, and save that carcass for soup stock!


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  1. Miss Heather

    Well, now I want chicken! This sounds really tasty. I will actually be making a chicken dish tomorrow but I may have to take this one for a test run. My only issue is the oregano. Is there anything that I can substitute? My one daughter hates the stuff and my husband always says it ruins a good meal. I think they are both full of it! lol

  2. Arthur

    “astonished chicken” you write SO well!


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