Lowlander Beer Brined Whole Chicken Oven

Beer Can chicken, who isn’t familiar with this dish? Beer tenderizes meat in a natural way. And who are we to avoid this dish from our list? The flavours and juices of the beer will give your bird the same juice level of an apple and the same crispness of freshly fried chips. This enlightening bird dish falls into the category comfort food because it has a lot to give. If your appetite is not as big as this dish, you could save the chicken for a salad, soup or you could toss it with greens. One little tip: start two days in advance ;-).

Beer Brined & Rosemary Roast Chicken

Main | Serves 4-6

For the brine
1 L water
3 bottles Lowlander Winter I.P.A.
1 tsp cloves
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
150 gr cup sea salt
1/2 red onion
1 whole lemon
1 tsp black pepper

For the herb butter
3 tbsp butter at room temperature
½ tsp fresh black pepper
1 ½ tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp dried juniper berries, crushed with mortar and pestle
1 tsp salt
Zest from 1 medium lemon (save the lemons to place into the cavity of the chicken)

For the chicken
1 good quality whole roasting chicken
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

This is how you make it
1. Start with the brine 2 days in advance. In a pot over medium heat, combine the water, beer, cloves, peppercorn and salt. Cook until the salt has dissolved, and the liquid starts steaming, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
2. Rinse the raw chicken and carefully separate the skin from the meet. Place in a large stock pot, bucket or dutch oven that is just taller than the top of the chicken. Pour the cooled brine over the chicken until submerged. Place in the fridge and allow to soak for 12 hours. If the chicken isn’t fully submerge, turn every 4-6 hours to re-distribute the brine.
3. After 12 hours, remove from brine and rinse thoroughly, pat dry. Place in a roasting rack in a roasting pan and allow to sit, uncovered in the refrigerator until the skin has dried, about 12 to 24 hours. This final step will allow the skin to become crispy during cooking, while the meat is juicy.
4. Make the butter by placing all the ingredients in a small bowl and stirring well to incorporate; set aside.
6. Preheat oven to 175C.
7. Rinse and FULLY DRY the chicken, including the cavity. Carefully slide two fingers in between the skin and breast meat to create pockets to fill with butter. Take care not to tear the skin. Massage a quarter of the butter directly onto the meat of each breast under the skin. Cut the grated lemon into half, squeeze the juice over the chicken, and place both halves into the cavity of the chicken along with the two sprigs of rosemary. Truss the chicken then massage the other half of the butter mixture all over the chicken.
8. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 74c. If the chicken starts to brown too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
9. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving. Serve the chicken with the grapes/ roasted veggies and some of the pan juices on the side.

Roasted Grapes

Side | serves 4

500 gr seedless red grapes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

This is how you make it
1. Rinse the grapes, shaking off excess water, then place in a bowl. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the grapes. Sprinkle with the salt and the chopped mint; toss to coat and set aside.
2. Surround the chicken with the grapes (or when using a spit, put them underneath the chicken), making sure to scrape out the olive oil and mint from the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Roasted Veggies

The … flavors of … provide a fresh and fruity contrast to the earthy notes of the beets and carrots in this dish. The fruity apricot flavors add a bright contrast to the earthy notes of the carrots and beets while the beer’s malt notes enhance their natural sweetness to create a harmonious pairing. Hints of  in the beer highlight the glaze, and a lightly tart and crisp finish cleanses the palate.

Side | serves 6

6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced in half
3 medium beets, peeled and cut into eighths
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp honey
¾ tsp ground rosemary
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

This is how you make it

  1. Put the beets and carrots in a baking dish to put in the oven.
  2. Combine orange juice, honey, cardamom, pepper and salt in a bowl and whisk.
  3. Pour the blend over the vegetables, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes on 175C.
  4. Remove the foil, stir the vegetables and cook for an additional 15 minutes until the juice has given the vegetables a luster.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve the vegetables with the roasted chicken.

Serve with Lowlander Winter IPA.