Roast chicken has a big place in my heart. It’s something I grew up eating regularly. My great-grandmother was a wizard at a Sunday Roast and the smell of a bird roasting takes me back to those happy times I spent cooking and baking with her.
Flash forward to 2014 and this sentimentality led to me cooking my poor husband the worst roast chicken imaginable. Whoops. Thankfully, Mr. dB has an amazing trick for this; and that became the very first dish that he taught me to cook.
Flash forward again to today, 2020, and Mr. dB begrudgingly admitted that mine is now better; the roast chicken student has surpassed the master! And so with his blessing, I wanted to share with you – let there never again be a dry chicken fail in your kitchen!Jump to Recipe
Tips and Tricks:
This method uses a half-filled 490ml / 17fl.oz. (beer) can, with your chook sat atop. This will steam your chicken from the inside, ensuring that the breast meat stays insanely juicy and that we can get some insanely tasty skin while we’re at it.
Get flavourful! There are literally endless options here. As you’re probably using a beer can here, why not use the beer itself? Or, half-fill your can with water and the juice of a lemon, or wedge in a stalk of lemongrass!
If you become as obsessed with this method as I did , you can actually buy a really cool set up like mine which will make moving your chook around during/after cooking really easy. These kits also tend to have a removable lid so that you can jam in a tonne of herbs and a whole darn lemon for the ultimate flavour-bomb.
Resting your chicken: this is essential. You’ll burn your hands off if you try to take your chook off its perch too quickly. This resting period also allows the meat to absorb a lot of the juices released during cooking – those juices mean better looking and tasting food.
Leftovers? No problem! Although it’s rare to have any meat leftover from these bada** birds, we have just the thing for you with our potted chicken – watch this space!
Check out a fun tweak here pairing this super easy chook with our savoury lemon curd recipe!
Beer Can Roast Chook
- 1 x 490ml / 17fl.oz. beer can (or other drink that comes in that size!) or a beer can chicken stand set.
- Tin foil
- Medium baking tray (if using a beer can).
- 1 Whole chicken; around 1.5kg See notes below for timing regarding chicken weights!
- Coarse sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Olive oil Extra-virgin
- Aromatics such as whole/juiced lemon, one stalk of lemongrass, fresh herbs, etc.
Prepare your chook.
- Preheat your oven to 200C/390F fan / 220C/430F / Gas Mark 7* see notes for cooking temps.
- Unless you're using a super duper organic or farm fresh chicken, thoroughly rinse inside and out and pat it dry. Set aside for a few minutes on a chopping board or in a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare your beer can and any aromatics/flavours (juice your lemon, crush the lemongrass, wash the herbs). If using the beer, tip out half of the contents (into your mouth??) or half-fill an empty tall can. Add in any of the optional aromatics.
- On your board/in your bowl, cover your chook in the olive oil and salt/pepper and rub it into the skin.
- Create a little nest of foil – this will stabilise your can and chook – and tuck it tightly around the bottom of the beer can in a baking tray.
Cook the chook!
- Lift your bird up onto the can – inserting the top of the can, in the words of Mr. dB, "where the sun don't shine". It will be sitting upright. If it looks a little 'drunk', just jiggle it into place so he's nice and straight.
- Wrap a sheet of foil around the 'shoulders' of the chook, creating a little superhero cape, gently closing the foil at the top of the breasts.
- Place your baking tray into your oven (the breasts of the chook towards the back of the oven) and cook for 20 minutes.
- Carefully open up your oven and slide your baking tray towards you. Turn the chicken to face you and remove its cape.
- Drop the oven temp. to 180C/360F Fan / 200C/390F / Gas Mark 6 and continue to cook for another 20 minutes (breasts facing the oven door).
- After your timer has gone off, turn your chook one last time, facing the breasts to the back of the oven, and cook for a final 20 minutes.
- Your chook is going to look super crispy and smell incredible BUT you have to be patient! Create a new little foil cape and let your chicken rest, atop the beer can, for ten minutes.
- The resting time is non-negotiable, unless you want to serve it too early and lose all of the chook's scrumptious juices!
- Gently remove your chook from its perch and serve up whole or chop into wings, breasts and leg segments for a truly impressive bowl of deliciousness.
- PS: don't forget to scrape out all of those amazing juices and fats (drippings) from your baking tray into a small tupperware. This little box of golden goodness will live in your fridge happily for at least a month and will do your next roast potatoes some serious favours.
- Breast: 66C / 150F (once rested)
- Thigh: 74C / 165F (once rested)
We would love to hear what you think of our dish.