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Wheat Beer Roasted Chicken

This recipe takes its flavors from one of the classic European beers: Belgian witbier. This style, which often uses orange peel and coriander seeds in the beer-making process, leads to unexpectedly wonderful flavors in the final brew—flavors that also happen to pair well with roast chicken.–Ian Knauer

LC Blotto Bird Note

This is one besotted bird. As in blotto. Blitzed. Buzzed. But we’re not going to let the fact that this bird is braised and bathed in beer stop us from pouring another brew to sip along with the fragrant, hiccuping hen.

Special Equipment: Kitchen string (optional)

Wheat Beer Roasted Chicken Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest, preferably organic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1 cup wheat beer (witbier), such as Blue Moon, Hefeweizen, or Shock Top
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
  • 2. Work together the butter, orange zest, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon.
  • 3. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Gently run your fingers between the chicken skin and the meat, loosening the skin while being careful not to tear it. Push the butter under the skin, as far over the thighs and drumsticks as your fingertips or the handle of a wooden spoon will reach. Massage the chicken skin from the outside to spread the butter evenly over the chicken. Season the chicken inside and out with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Place the garlic and orange, cut into chunks, in the cavity. If desired, loosely tie the legs together with kitchen string.
  • 4. Place the chicken in a flameproof roasting pan that’s not much larger than the chicken itself. (A large cast-iron skillet works quite nicely.) Roast the chicken, liberally basting it with some of the beer every 15 minutes, until the skin is golden and begins to pull away from the base of the drumsticks and the juice runs clear, about 50 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.
  • 5. Meanwhile, set the roasting pan over a burner and add the remaining beer. Bring the liquid to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Stir together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then stir the resulting corn starch slurry into the simmering pan juices. Simmer the gravy, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. If desired, strain the gravy.
  • 6. Cut the strings from the legs, if using, and carve the chicken. Transfer the pieces to a platter and spoon the gravy over the chicken or pass it on the side.
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