Perfectly roasted chicken

Recipe By: Nathan Myhrvold ( Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking


1 Whole chicken, Skin intact
To taste Salt
To taste Pepper
1 can Beer

chicken roast


1. Starting at the neck or cavity, slowly and carefully work your fingers in underneath the skin of the chicken. Gently loosen the skin from the flesh, taking care not to tear the skin. Work your way around the whole bird until the front and back are loose. The skin should hang loose from the wing tips and the bottom tips of the drum sticks. mix the salt and paper and gentle rub it onto the flesh underneath the skin. Sprinkle some in the cavity.

2. Empty the beer from the can, either by drinking the contents or by pouring it out. Preheat you oven to its lowest setting. This could range from  60 to 80℃ depending on your oven. Position the cavity of the bird over the beer can and gently press down to ensure the bird sits firmly on the can. Make small cuts in the skin at the bottom of the legs and butt to help the fat drain. Put the bird in the oven and cook for 4 hours. After 30 minutes, test the internal temperature of the chicken a few times, using a meat or digital thermometer . The core roasting temperature should be between 60-65℃. If it get hotter than that, open the oven door a little to cool down. If it cooks at lower than that increase the temperature by a few degrees.

chicken roast

3. After 4 hours remove the chicken from the oven and set aside to rest uncovered. Increase the oven temperature to maximum and heat for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes return the bird, still perched on top of the beer can to the super hot oven. Roast until the skin is golden brown. Closely watch proceedings from this point to avoid burning the chicken. When done to your liking, remove the bird from the oven and the can from the bird, carve and serve.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Daniel Keulder says:

    I see it is a Whk Draught can!

    1. Off course it is! Just the right size and most delicious contents.

  2. zig says:

    Christie, we have been doing beer chickens for years here at our camp in Sierra Leone………BUT you have to only take one sluk and then put the chicken on….it allows the inside to stay moist, get flavour and do it on the braai. Nathan needs to try it like that……tome /tomb or not. Also you can try coke as it makes a nice cocacola hoender change if people like sweet.
    Keep up the experiments

    1. Sjoe! All the way from Sierra Leone. I am impressed and most grateful! I have done a few of those chickens myself. I think most cultures that love beer and enjoy cooking outdoors have a version of this. If cooked in an oven, the beer might be good for the inside, but not so good for the skin, as a dry heat is required for the crispy skin. But hey, what the hell! As long as you enjoy the chicken and the beer. Stay in touch. Would love to hear what else you guys are up to.

  3. AgileWriter says:

    It certainly is. Juz try out!!!

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