Coke is a much loved beverage that is bubbly and refreshing, but it is not usually considered to be a cooking staple. The flavors in a can of Coke can lend tenderness and juiciness to a whole chicken, Steven Raichlen notes in his book "Beer-Can Chicken: And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill." Cooking a chicken with a can of Coke inside may sound like a dangerous experiment, but it could become a new culinary pleasure once you taste the meat.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat.
Combine olive oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, cayenne powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Rinse your whole chicken under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Take the neck and giblets out of the chicken and discard.
Rub the olive oil and spice mixture over all surfaces of the whole chicken.
Open the can of Coke and pour out about one-fourth of the liquid. Place upright on a work surface.
Lower the open cavity of the chicken on top of the Coke can.
Place the chicken and Coke can on the preheated grill. Place a drip pan or baking sheet on the rack below the chicken to catch the dripping grease.
Close the lid of the outdoor grill and allow the chicken to cook for one to one and a half hours, or until the meat has turned dark brown and the skin is crispy. An instant-read meat thermometer should register at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit at this point.
Remove the chicken from the grill and take off the Coke can. Throw the Coke can away and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Use a carving knife to cut the chicken into pieces and serve immediately.
Serve the Coke can chicken with warm barbecue sauce. Sides of baked potatoes and corn on the cob pair well with a grilled Coke can chicken. Substitute any of the spices in the rub mixture with your favorites, such as rosemary, red chili flakes or celery seed.
Be very careful when removing the Coke can from the outdoor grill and from the chicken. The can and the liquid inside is hot and will burn you if touched.