I never had any experience cooking with a whole chicken until a friend of mine shared her Sprite-can chicken recipe. After talking to her about the marinade and the whole process, I went to my local halal meat store and picked up a whole chicken and attempted to make my own soda can chicken. Success!
Before I continue, I want to let everyone know that when you go to a halal butcher shop, the meat is generally not pre-packaged into neat, plastic-wrapped portions that you see at the grocery store. Instead, you have a display case full of different kinds of meat- chicken, beef, veal, lamb, goat- and various parts of animals- legs, side cuts, ribs, ground meats, steaks, trodders, organs etc. You pick the pieces of meat you want, get it cut the way you want and then bring it home to prep it- clean off extra fat and gunk, wash it, and away you go. So knowing that, when I tell you that my mom taught me how to clean meat when I was a teen shouldn't seem odd. One time, she handed me a rubber glove, a whole chicken that she got from the halal meat store, and made me stick my hand up the backside of the chicken to take out the heart, lungs and any other stuff that shouldn't be there before we cooked it. From that day on, I felt somewhat traumatized and to this day I tell her she scarred me by making me shove my hand up a chicken's butt. hehe Between you and me though, I'm kind of glad she gave me that experience because now when I work with a whole chicken, it's no longer a daunting task and I can take care of it in a minute or so.
Dry Rub Marinade for a Whole Chicken
2 heaping tbsp chicken tikka masala (if you want to avoid a lot of spice, substitute the chicken tikka masala for another blended chicken spice)
2 tsp freshly ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp each freshly minced ginger and garlic
2 key limes (you can use lemon or lime wedges if you can't find key limes)
Rinse the inside and outside of your whole chicken thoroughly. Lay it down on paper towels and pat-dry the chicken with more paper towel.
In a small bowl, mix together the chicken tikka masala, ground coriander, paprika and salt. Set aside.
Take the minced garlic and ginger and rub them into the chicken-inside and out. Make sure you get in between the legs and wings. Take your rub, a tsp at a time, and begin to rub it into the chicken skin, once again making sure to get into every nook and cranny. Repeat the process until you have used up the entire rub.
Take the two key limes, and place them inside the chicken cavity. When you roast the chicken, they will explode and release all of their flavour.
If you are going to roast the chicken later in the day, put the chicken inside a roasting pan and put it in the fridge for a few hours. If you want to make the chicken at a later date, but the entire chicken into a freezer bag and stick it into the freezer.