A Valentine’s Chicken


The Beer Brined Roasted Chicken from the Cherry Bomb cookbook was so delish that I made it twice in a week. That’s right, I had two dinner parties in a row, and it was wonderful the first time, so I decided to work on perfecting it on round two. The recipe is time consuming in that the brining stage takes a day, but it’s very easy and I think the results are impressive – beyond juicy chicken with a bomb flavor and crispy skin if you decide to keep it around.

This weekend was our early Valentine’s Day celebration, so everything had to be perfect and this roast chicken didn’t fail me. I served it along side truffled mashed potatoes – really rich, should have gone plain, and bundles of baby asparagus wrapped with pancetta, parmesan, and puff pastry. The Gent sent ahead of his visit a couple bottles of cab from our favorite vineyard that we’d just visited in Napa – Miner Family Winery. Really, can you imagine anything more thoughtful??

Beer Brined Roasted Chicken

(Adapted from the Cherry Bomb Cookbook)

For the brine:

  • 1 c. kosher salt
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 8 c. water
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 shallots, halved and with the root intact
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts only, quartered
  • 7 sprigs of sage
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 4-4.5 pound chicken
  • 3 bottles (12oz.) beers- I used PBR

For the chicken:

  • 3 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 sprigs of sage
  • 3 (12 oz.) beers

Begin recipe 24-36 hours in advance…..

  1. Combine the salt, sugar, and water in a large pot over medium heat. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved and remove from heat.
  2. Add to the pot all other ingredients listed under the brine section and allow brine to cool to room temperature.
  3. Submerge chicken breast side down in the pot or other large container with brine.
  4. Place chicken in the refrigerator and allow it to marinade at least 24 hours.

The next day…..

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry, inside and out.
  3. Place chicken in a roasting pan and cover with butter.
  4. Add two beers to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  5. Arrange sage around the chicken.
  6. Roast chicken for thirty minutes, basting often with beer. If the beer evaporates, just add another.
  7. Continue to roast for another 20-30 minutes. The chicken should cook for approximately 20 minuter per pound, maybe a hair longer. You’ll know it’s ready when a thermometer reaches 160F. I had some questionable juices and would go a little bit higher, maybe to 165F or so with my next thermometer read.
  8. Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

Macaron note:  The first time I made this chicken, I had vegetables underneath the chicken to catch juices; however I did not like them. The potatoes do not cook all the way through and other vegetables were too mushy with the amount of liquid from the beer and chicken. This is why I chose to cook vegetables separately on round two. Plus, mashed potatoes > roasted potatoes any day.


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