Every household has its favorite rendition of roasted chicken, and a simple, perfectly roasted chicken is the best. But why not diversify now and then? At our house we often give it a twist and roast the chicken in beer with clove and cinnamon, as they do in Trentino–Alto Adige, a region of northern Italy featured in Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy. The beer gives it a complexity of flavors, and leaves the chicken moist with a great glossy skin. Not only do you have the beer- flavored roasted chicken in this recipe, but the vegetables roasted along with the chicken are a great side dish.
- A 3½-to-4-pound roasting chicken
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved crosswise, and quartered lengthwise (about 4 ounces)
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved crosswise, and quartered lengthwise (about 6 ounces total)
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1½ cups light stock (chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth) or water
- 1½ cups (one 12-ounce bottle) flavorful beer or ale
- 1 cup nonalcoholic apple cider, preferably unfiltered
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat to 400 degrees F. Trim the excess fat from the chicken, and season it inside and out with half of the salt.
Scatter the onions, carrot, parsnips, sage, cloves, and cinnamon in the pot, sprinkle over this the rest of the salt, and set the chicken on top of the vegetables. Put the pot on the stove, pour in the stock, beer, and apple cider, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes on top of the stove.
Put the pot in the oven, and roast the chicken for about 30 minutes, basting with the pan juices two or three times. Cover the chicken with a sheet of aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning, and roast another 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and roast another 20 to 30 minutes, basting frequently, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked through and tender.
Remove the chicken to a warm platter, and surround with the vegetables. Bring the pan juices to a boil on top of the stove, and cook until reduced by half. Carve the chicken at the table, and spoon some of the pan juices on top.