The instructions for this recipe were very simple:
Turn on the oven.
Put a whole chicken in a pan and surround it with carrots, celery, onions, garlic and sage leaves. Sprinkle everything with salt.
Pour a bottle of beer over it all, put it in the oven, and pull it out when it looks done.
This will be one of the easiest and most delicious meals you’ve ever had. And, okay, there was one more step in there, namely to baste the chicken every 20 minutes. I didn’t even use a formal baster, just a ladle I normally use for soup. It worked great.
But that really was all there one to it. The beer was definitely the key ingredient, because it added to the color of the chicken on the outside and basting with it kept the meat moist on the inside. The surprising aspect of including beer with a roasting chicken was that the beer cooked down from its original consistency to an almost gravy-like density that added depth and a very appetizing sheen to the vegetables.
This was one of the simplest and most satisfying recipes I have tried in some time. It is definitely a keeper!
Cathy Huyghe writes for the WGBH Daily Dish blog. Read new WGBH Daily Dish posts every weekday, where you can explore myriad ways and places to experience good food and wine.
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