Someone told me how good beer can chicken is earlier this year, so I did some research and found a Jamie Oliver version that I liked. I've made a few changes to make it more us and it is now 'on the rotation.' I love roasts for the smell in the house and the fact that once it's in the oven I can do other things (or nothing). Hope you like this one!
1 whole free-range chicken (usually about 1.8kg)
1 x 330 ml can of beer
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 heaped tbs smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaped tbs fennel seeds
1/2 bunch fresh coriander - chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 birds eye chilli - chopped
1 long red chilli - chopped
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
1 heaped tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tablespoon soft dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 200C. Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave aside to come up to room temperature. Bash the rub ingredients to a fine powder in a large pestle and mortar, then drizzle the chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle over the rub and use your hands to massage all those lovely flavours into all the nooks and crannies.
Open the beer and pour out around two-thirds of it, then carefully lower the chicken cavity onto the can so it looks like it's sitting up. Position the chicken so it's upright on a roasting tray, then place in the oven and cook for around 1 hour, or as per weight. To check it's done, insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – the juices should run clear.
Brush the chicken all over with the barbecue sauce, then return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until dark and sticky. Once ready, carefully remove and discard the can, then carve up the bird and serve with roasted veggies and gravy made from the pan juices. If, like me, you make lumpy gravy, add the pan juices to the bought gravy and stir well.
Last night we had spiced roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes, with some steamed brocoli. Then left-over sticky date pudding. My chicken was 2.4kg so that was a bit of a surprise when I got home - total cooking time was 1 hour and 45 mins - the beer must steam from the inside and the oven from the outside so it cooks quicker.
It went perfectly with the Duck Sauce 2013 Pinot Noir from Vino Mofo. Good company and yummy dinner on a Wednesday night, that's what life's about. Nic x