This time of year is my favourite; icy cold sunny days, no excuses needed for snuggly nights in and most importantly roast dinners. I know some people have roasts all year round but in our household Sundays were always marked with BBQs in summer and roasts in the winter.
But how do you upgrade your average roast chicken and make it into something special? You want crispy, salty chicken skin, meat that’s full of flavour and moisture and, most importantly, you want a bonafide reason to have a beer. Look no further friend. This recipe DEMANDS you to have a beer in order to make it. Or at least half of one (but who’s counting?).
Now non-drinkers, never fear. This isn’t ALL about the beer. If you can’t, won’t or don’t drink then you can get creative with your moisture-maker and use whatever you fancy can-wise; a coke, an oven-friendly jar filled with vegetable stock, even a can of baked beans. We made this the first time with some left over alcohol-free beer that had taken up permanent residence in our fridge following a friends pregnancy… her husbands drinking loss was our chickens gain. Lucky chick.
Anyway, I digress. You really must try it this season. And try to look at your chicken sitting up in your oven with grinning…
Makes one roast chicken to feed four
You will need:
- A medium chicken (about 1.2-1.5kg)
- Olive oil
- Thyme – or any other herb you fancy, perhaps a bit of rosemary?!
- Salt & pepper
- A can of beer (Coke/Baked Beans/Oven-friendly jar of veggie stock… really it’s up to you)
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (based on a fan oven)
- Rub a small amount of oil into the chicken skin. Remember to do all over the bird as it won’t be lying down!
- Season your chicken with generous amounts of thyme, salt and pepper making sure to cover the whole chicken
- Take your can and drink half of it – Right now. Down it. Or, you know, pour it into a glass for later.
- Put the half-filled can in the centre of your baking tray, place the chicken on top and lower it onto the can so that the can is firmly inside the cavity
- Cook the chicken at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 1hr 30, checking using a skewer or sharp knife to make an incision into the deepest chest meat and push to see if the juices run clear. If they do, it’s cooked! If the juice is pink, keep cooking
- Take your chicken out of the oven and cover with a tea-towel. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. This ensures the chicken is wonderfully moist
- Finally, carve, serve and enjoy!
Tried our recipe before with something other than beer? Let me know your most creative ‘moisture-makers