How to bake juicy beer chicken with crispy skin accompanied by tender, flavorful potatoes.
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About This Easy Beer Chicken Recipe
As cooking with beer veterans we have enjoyed many of a chicken cooked in beer over the years. It is always a winning proposition. This particular recipe has been a staple in my extended family for as long as I can remember and brings about a dish that is an undeniable comfort food regardless of the time of year.
There is powerful culinary magic in the combination of chicken fat melting over potatoes immersed in a combination liquid of beer with bright, herbal hops notes and homemade chicken broth. If you are not already on board with the idea of it, you will definitely taste it once you make this dish.
You can use a whole chicken (cut into 8 pieces or quartered), chicken legs or quarters, bone-in chicken thighs or bone-in chicken breasts. As long as the skin is on. It is very important to have the skin on – for extra flavor and because it becomes irresistibly crispy.
Your grocery list for this dish couldn’t be simpler – you will need:
- Chicken. Use bone-in chicken, whether it is a spatchcocked whole chicken, chicken legs as you see above, thighs or skin-on, bone-in breast. The reason is the collagen which will slowly melt during cooking, flavor the meat and also the potatoes.
- Seasonings. You can influence the flavor base by switching out the seasonings. Besides salt and pepper I find paprika, cumin, yellow curry powder, dried oregano, garlic powder to be the most complementary seasonings to use in a rub for the chicken. Using curry will result in a beautiful golden skin, while cumin will give you a darker finish as you can see in the pictures.
- Potatoes. Use all-purpose potatoes such as Yukon gold or red potatoes. They are not overly starchy and will hold their shape better, plus you won’t have to peel the skins.
- Herbs. The top three fresh herb(s) to add to the potatoes here are thyme, dill and rosemary. Oregano is also very compatible.
- Chicken stock. Optional, you can substitute with water, but the potatoes will be so much more flavorful if they cook in a chicken stock and beer liquid.
- Beer. See the notes below on what style to choose.
- Butter. Optional, but placing small knobs of butter onto the chicken skin helps create a nicely browned and crispier skin.
Beer Style Recommendations
Growing up in my family this dish was always prepared with a German style light lager, or as my mother likes to say – a beer that tastes like a beer. The biscuity and bready notes from the pale malt and grassy, floral and herbal aromas of the Noble hops create a delicious backdrop for both the chicken and the potatoes.
I recommend these styles as the most suitable for this particular beer chicken recipe:
How to Make Beer Chicken in the Oven
Making this one-pan dish consists of placing all the ingredients together and baking them.
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 350 F and generously season the chicken with your choice of rub (or use the one from the recipe card). Wash, peel (if necessary) and cut the potatoes.
- Assemble. Arrange the potatoes at the bottom of a roasting pan, place the chicken pieces over them, then add the chicken stock and the beer. Finish by scattering your fresh herb of choice and placing a knob of butter over each piece of chicken.
- Bake. Bake for 50 minutes to a little over an hour, until the chicken temperature is at least 165 F when measured at the thickest parts, the skin is crispy and the potatoes are cooked through. Smaller pieces will cook faster.
TIP: In order for the chicken and potatoes to cook evenly together size the potato cuts according to the size of the chicken pieces. For example if you are preparing a spatchcocked (butterflied) chicken, larger potato chunks will be more appropriate as they will take longer to cook through. For smaller pieces such as chicken thighs go with thinner sliced potatoes.
Serve Beer Chicken and Potatoes
- A real bonus of this beer chicken recipe are the delicious and plentiful pan juices that results from the blending of chicken stock, lager and melted chicken fat. Be sure to drizzle a couple of generous spoonfuls over the potatoes as you plate.
- Add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche over the potatoes of each plated portion.
- Serve with a simple lettuce salad with thinly sliced red onions and English cucumber. It provides an excellent fresh and crunchy backdrop to the dish.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- 4 chicken legs*
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 medium sized Yukon gold potatoes**
- 8 oz lager (such as Czech pilsner, German pils, Helles, American craft lager)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter, cut in 4 pieces (optional)
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme (more for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Mix the salt, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and pepper and season the chicken pieces. Cut the potatoes in pieces.
- In a roasting pan arrange the potatoes and place the chicken pieces on top. Add the chicken stock and the lager.
- Place a knob of butter over each chicken leg and scatter the thyme in between the potatoes.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 F when measured near the bone, in the thickest parts and the skin is crispy. The potatoes should be tender and cooked through. Garnish with fresh thyme as you serve.
*You can also use bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, bone-in chicken thighs or a whole chicken (spatchcocked, cut in 8 pieces or halved). For bigger pieces adjust the cooking time upwards and be sure to cut the potatoes in bigger pieces so they cook evenly with the chicken.
**Substitute with red potatoes. Generally, budget one medium potato per person, adjust accordingly for smaller potatoes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 744Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 345mgSodium: 2150mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 69g