Sunday, May 22, 2011

A six pack of chicken

It's a vicious circle.

Me:  Hey, can you fill up a tub of drinks for the party?  There's practically a case of beer in the fridge from last time.  Let's try to get rid of it.
My husband:  Amen to that.  All that Heineken is taking up valuable tonic space.
Guests (a few hours later):  Hi!  Thank you so much for having us. We brought you some beer.  Hope you like Heineken...Ooh! Did you make margaritas?

At the end of the party, we rinse out the empty marg pitcher, dump a case of red wine bottles in the recycling bin, and pour the dregs of exactly three partially full beers down the sink.   

My husband: (sighing heavily as he tries to find space for the net gain of two and a half six packs) When is your dad coming over?  He's good for a couple at least.

My dad doesn't come over that often.  

Beer-Basted Chicken with Asian Flavors
clipped this recipe years ago from Bon Appetit, based solely on the tantalizing list of ingredients:   Ginger, garlic, lemon, scallions...and a whole bottle of beer*.  It turns out that this is the juiciest, most flavorful roast chicken that has ever come out of my oven.   It's perfect for an easy weeknight supper.  All you need is a side of rice or mashed potatoes to soak up the tangy sauce, a green salad, and a nice cold glass.  Of white wine.  

1 12 oz. bottle of beer (whatever brand is left after the party)
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. brown sugar, packed
2 Tbs. peeled fresh ginger, chopped
1 Tbs. chopped garlic
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 3 1/2 to 4 lb. chicken, butterflied**
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl, and whisk to combine.   Place chicken in a non-reactive container***, and pour marinade over.  Lift chicken to make sure some of the marinade is underneath, and all the little nooks and crannies are submerged.   Cover the container, and refrigerate for at least an hour or as long as overnight.

Preheat oven to 375.  Place chicken, skin side up, in a 13x9 roasting pan, and pour marinade around the chicken.  Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes.  Baste, then reduce oven temperature to 350.  Continue roasting until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, about 35-40 more minutes.   Baste every 15 to 20 minutes, but allow chicken to roast without basting for the final 15 minutes to allow skin to get crisp.

Transfer chicken to a platter.  Pour pan juices into a medium saucepan.   Spoon off as much fat as you can, then boil until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.   Serve the chicken with the sauce alongside.

* Other dents in the collection have been made, thanks to these tacos, these carnitas, and a boatload of beer-battered fish & chips, which I'll post about another time.
** The original recipe did not specify that the chicken should be butterflied, but I was hoping to shorten the roasting time and decided to try this method. It worked! It's not hard to do. First, remove the neck and giblets from the cavity. Rinse the chicken and trim any excess fat.  Using sharp kitchen shears, cut out the backbone.   Then, you can either remove the breast bone completely by pulling it out carefully, or turn the chicken over, so the skin side is up, then break the breast bone in half with your hand or a kitchen mallet.  Either way, the chicken should now lie completely flat. Rinse the chicken, and pat dry.  You are now ready to go!  To see a video how-to, click here.
*** BTW, "non-reactive container" is just a code word for "Tupperware(R)".


  1. this looks amazing! my stepdad would keel over if he knew i used a heineken in a recipe (and, for that matter, anything other than guzzling from the bottle...), but i think it's great!

  2. Is your stepfather in the neighborhood? Honestly, he can come by anytime!

  3. What a great use for the beer that is taking up too much room in my fridge. As you must remember from your Roble days, Gary isn't much of a drinker so we always have beer left after parties. Your beer-basted chicken was delicious and made the whole family happy. I tried the same marinade for salmon and it wasn't memorable so we'll stick to the chicken. Actually, I've made almost all of your chicken recipes and we love them-- keep them coming!

  4. Hi Suzanne! Let's make a deal. I'll post more chicken recipes if you let me hug that puppy sometime. So cute!!!