While I am not a huge beer drinker by any means, I do enjoy having a good beer now and then. While I am particularly partial to having a Guinness, I try to keep an open mind and do drink several other different craft beers. I appreciate that not everyone enjoys having beer is there beverage of choice, but making use of beer in cooking can be quite tasty. Not only is it great to use in batters for things like fish or shrimp, I have also found a few different recipes that make use of beer in both the brine that is used for additional flavoring and in the braising or roasting. That is just what this particular recipe has to offer that I found at New York Times Cooking for beer-brined roast chicken. The original recipe comes from Red Rooster Harlem, a well-known restaurant here in New York. The recipe itself is pretty simple, though you do need to plan a little bit ahead so that you can brine the chicken and have it ready to go for roasting.
Beer-Brined Roast Chicken
For the Brine:
1 cup kosher salt
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 leek (white and light green part), quartered
5 sprigs thyme
7 sprigs sage
2 shallots, halved and peeled
3 (12-ounce) bottles lager-style beer
For the Chicken and Vegetables:
1 whole chicken (4 to 4 1/2 pounds)
1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes (or other small potato), cut in half lengthwise
2 cups whole peeled pearl onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 sprigs sage
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 (12-ounce) bottle lager-style beer
To prepare the brine, in a large pot combine 8 cups of water, the salt and the sugar and bring the mixture to a simmer over high heat, stirring to help dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the garlic, leek, thyme, sage and shallots; let the brine cool to room temperature.
Place the chicken in a deep container large enough to hold it and the brine. Pour the cooled brine over the chicken. Pour in the 3 bottles of beer until the chicken is submerged; cover the chicken and refrigerate it overnight.
To prepare the chicken and vegetables, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the Brussels sprouts, potatoes, onions, chopped sage and lemon zest in a large bowl. Drizzle the vegetables with vegetable oil and season them with salt and pepper; toss the vegetables to evenly coat them.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat the skin dry with paper towels. Place about half of the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan or large sauté pan and set the chicken on top of the vegetables. Rub the butter evenly over the top of the chicken to coat it well. Pour the bottle of beer into the pan and arrange the sage sprigs in the pan around the chicken.
Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes with the liquid in the pan.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Spread the remaining vegetables on a baking sheet and place them on a low rack or the bottom of the oven. Cook everything until the chicken skin is golden brown and crisp and the vegetables are just tender and slightly charred, 20 to 30 more minutes, stirring the vegetables and basting the chicken once halfway through.
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before carving. Plate chicken with a mix of roasted veggies and the vegetables from the pan. Spoon the reduced cooking liquid from the pan over the top.
This is a pretty basic roast chicken recipe with vegetables that lets you do most of the work all in one pan. I love roasting this way because you get to use just one pan and you get a great melding of flavors as the chicken juices run onto the vegetables and everything tastes great. I actually poured out the juices from the vegetables once the chicken was done and thickened all of the juices up as a gravy in a separate pan. It was great flavor that came from the beer, the chicken and vegetables. I used a Samuel Adams beer, actually their Maple Ale that is part of their seasonal beers that are out right now and it added a very nice flavor to the sauce and the chicken, but you could certainly use any beer that you enjoy the most. The vegetables were all roasted very nicely and had great flavor also. You can use a mix of any root vegetables you really like here to make the dish your own, but I love roasted Brussels sprouts myself. Throw in some carrots with the potatoes and you have everything to go. I actually made some of our favorite biscuits to go with everything to make the meal complete.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!