Note: I’ve moved this post over from an old cooking blog I started in February of 2011, but then kinda forgot about. There are good recipes there, but I really want all of my blogging to be in one place. Let’s be honest, I’m not good at keeping up with one blog, so how would I keep up with two? :)
February 3, 2011: I almost fell over when I saw this recipe listed in January 2011 Martha Stewart Living! I guess I never pictured Martha poppin’ the top on a can of beer. However, I’ve come to trust that most recipes in MSL – no matter how odd sounding – are worth a shot (no pun intended… ok, maybe a little bit intended).
This recipe goes super well with Thyme + Garlic Roasted Potatoes
. I’ve changed it up a bit because the original recipe called for a fig jam pan sauce (Call a spade a spade, Martha. It’s gravy.). Fig jam isn’t on my list of pantry staples and because I’ve never tasted a fig I like, I wasn’t about to buy it just for this recipe. I substituted a little blackberry jam and some lemon juice (I know it sounds odd, but trust me) and it turned out really great! Enjoy!
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- coarse salt
- 1 can stout, such as Guinness (If you and your fellow eaters can ingest gluten, I wouldn’t change this – the Guinness not only gives a deep flavor to the chicken, but Guinness cans are tall, which helps support the chicken better in the pan – a super important quality since you’ll pull the bird in and out of the oven a few times. I haven’t made this yet with a gluten-free beer, but I’ll update when I do to let you know which beer[s] are good/better. I’ve read there are some serious flavor issues with most gluten-free beers, especially stouts.)
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme (OK… so I used 2 large bunches. Yum.)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (Gluten-free, if you please!)
- 2 tablespoons fig jam (I would definitely recommend blackberry jam because it gives another deep flavor and just the right amount of sweetness… a splash of lemon juice helped to brighten it up a bit, too.)
Take all your oven racks out save one. Put that one rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 450º.
If your chicken is damp, dry it with paper towels. Rub butter on skin and season with salt.
Pour out 1/2 cup of the beer and reserve it for the pan sauce (ahem – gravy) later. Drop the thyme bunch(es) into the can. Poke a couple of extra wholes in the top of the can and place in in the middle of an oven-safe skillet. (I used my large cast iron skillet, which worked out really nicely for when I made the gravy.)
OK – I promise I didn’t make this just because it looks funny, but you have to admit – it looks funny!
Place the chicken over the can. With the tall Guinness can, I had no trouble getting the chicken to stand upright and stay stable. Martha recommends using the legs to act as a tripod, if you need some help balancing it.
Carefully move the skillet to the preheated oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven, baste it with the pan juices, and then return it to the oven. (Remember, the oven is 450º, so I wouldn’t recommend reaching in to try to baste it.)
First basting – already looking yummy!
Remove the can from the chicken (that was the trickiest step of all and required Sweet Husband’s help), discard the beer in the can, and allow the chicken to rest on a platter for 10 minutes before carving it.
While the chicken is resting, place the skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan drippings are sizzling, add the reserved beer. Add flour to the pan while whisking rapidly to avoid clumping. Whisk in blackberry jam and just a splash (not too much!) of lemon juice. Use chicken stock (or vegetable, or beef – whatever you have) to thin out the sauce according to your preference.
It only took like 45 minutes and it was so easy!
Any meal that looks like it took way more effort and time than it really did gets a bajillion bonus points in my book.
Yield: 8 servings
I don’t have the nutritional stats on this one yet because I haven’t made it since I started using MyFitnessPal.com. Next time I make it, you can bet I’ll be coming up with Nutritional info so I can count the calories (although… I probably don’t want to know!).
Easy Gluten-Free Substitution
Again, you can easily make this Gluten Free by making sure that you use gluten-free all purpose flour (or corn starch, but remember to cut the measurement in half if you go this route!) and a gluten-free canned beer. Again, I’m not sure what gluten-free beer would be a good fit here, but I’m willing to do some testing and let you know! If you have any suggestions, please share in the comments. I’m not really much of a beer-drinker, so I hate to have to spend beaucoup bucks testing a bunch of different brands!