We are fortunate enough to have a pizza oven but funnily enough this is our go to recipe when it is lit (as well as pizza but this is a lot less work!). This is the most succulent, flavoursome chicken recipe I know and I always do two, that way I can pick at the chicken in the fridge for days afterwards. You don’t necessarily need a pizza oven, a weber is also perfect and you can do them in the conventional oven (just remove all but the very bottom rack so they fit) but you won’t get the smokey flavour from the wood fire. It will still be divine. As you can see I have this fabulous chicken roasting tray that holds the chickens upright. The canister they sit on is filled with juices that bubble up and steam the chook from the inside, penetrating the flesh with whatever delectable flavours you may decide to put in them. You will also get the crispiest of skin as the chickens sit up, off the tray and the heat is dispersed evenly around the chicken ensuring that not one single part of that chicken skin will be soggy or any wing tips charred. I think this is my favourite kitchen gadget and as you can tell by mine in the photo, it is very well loved! I sit mine on top of a foil tray to catch any juices through the holes which will also give you the foundations of a cracking gravy. This is not a sponsored post and I was not supplied this tray but I will give you the link of where to get one because your chicken roasting future has never looked brighter. This is the ultimate winner, winner chicken dinner…..Thanks Williams-Sonoma!
Prep time: 15 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
Cooking time: Cooking times will vary on the size of the chicken and also the cooking method. I will give you instructions on both normal oven and pizza/weber ovens. If you don’t want to buy the tray (although I highly recommend it) you can also use actual beer cans. Drain the beer out and use tin snips to cut the tops off about 2/3rds of the way up. It does work but you have to be really careful transporting them as the cans will be top heavy with the chooks so they may tip over (speaking from experience). Probably a two person job, one to hold the tray, the other to hold the chickens steady.
2 x 1.2kg chickens (I prefer organic free range but the choice is yours)
1 x 375ml bottle of good beer such as a craft pale ale
4 cloves of garlic, skin on and bruised with your knife
2 peels of lemon rind
2 rosemary sprigs
6 thyme sprigs
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Rinse the cavity of the chicken and pat the whole chicken, inside and out, dry with paper towel. Make sure the canisters of the roasting tray are secured to the base and pour the beer into the canisters about 2/3 of the way up. Divide the garlic, rosemary, thyme and lemon peel between the two canisters and then pull the cavity of the chicken apart and place over the canister, pushing down so that they are sitting on top, nice and snug.
Drizzle olive oil over the top of each chicken and massage in with your hands. Wash your hands and then season the chickens liberally with sea salt and pepper.
If cooking in a normal oven preheat the oven to 220°C and place the roasting pan on the bottom rack. You may need to put a foil tray right in the base of your oven, below the bottom rack to catch the juices, so the chickens fit in. Roast for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 180°C for 40-45 minutes. Test the thickest part of the thigh and if the juices run clear and not slightly pink then the chickens are ready. If not bake for further 5 minute intervals until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow the chickens to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
If cooking in a pizza oven or weber, send Hubby and his mates out to light the fire about 45 minutes before roasting. This is the perfect time for the men to stand around, partaking in a few quiet ales and playing with fire. This is when they are at their happiest! Once the oven is at 200°C or there abouts, pop the chooks in and allow to roast for 55 minutes before testing with a skewer in the thickest part of the thigh and if the juice runs clear, they are ready. As with the oven method, bake for further 5 minute intervals until cooked through. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
This chicken is so moist that I often serve it with BBQ sides like baked potatoes and salads and don’t worry about gravy. Drizzling a little juice over the carved chicken from the canisters is all the moisture they need.
Why not try these delicious sides with your roast chicken?