My Beer Brined Baked Chicken (Photo Tutorial + Recipe)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I get lots of raves whenever I make my beer brined chicken, and a lot of people on social media are also curious as to how the chicken tastes. To be honest, it's not really easy to describe in my case because I don't drink beer. The chicken does have this exotic taste to it which is obviously from the beer, but I can't really liken it to anything. What I can rave about though is that the chicken is so soft and tender that when freshly eaten, the meat slides off the bone. 

I don't remember when or why I started making this, but in general I just had to tweak the stuff I saw on the internet because a lot of them were either too complicated or involved grilling. This version of the chicken is baked, and the steps are simple enough for most beginners to do. I actually do this on my lazy days. 

So for this episode, I'll basically be doing a walk through as to how I do it. I'll probably put in a summary recipe at the end of this post, but in general I make my beer brined chicken in a no-measurement and pure estimation manner because it's supposedly one of the best tasting dishes that require the least amount of effort.

Bulk of the tutorial after the jump!

To get started, have a bottle of beer. My personal preference are these 500mL bottles of Red Horse beer. More or less one 500mL bottle is good for a chicken... As for Red Horse, I have noticed that the results are better compared to when I used San Miguel beer which is why I've been sticking to this brand ever since. 

And be ready for weird stares because given my 12-year old girl face and the conservative attire I was in when I visited the grocery, I got weird stares from all the salesladies when I grabbed the bottle from the shelf...

For the marinade, all you need is to have salt and sugar ready and a bottle opener for the beer. 

And this is my Magnolia chicken who's as fat as me. 

This is the chicken after rinsing. Be sure to rinse so that all the blood has been washed out by the time you pour in the beer.

Simply empty all of the bottle's contents.

And add a good amount of sugar. This is more or less 1/2 cup, but you can put as much as you like as long as it can comfortably be dissolved into the beer.

And add a similar amount of salt. As for the salt, about 1/2 cup is already the maximum because we want the chicken to have flavor but not to become too salty. 

And just add water until the whole chicken is more or less immersed in fluid. I just used the beer bottle to put the water in.

And for a better marinade, simply add ice until you can barely see the chicken.

Put a good layer of cling wrap over the bowl and place in the fridge. 

So we'll be having the chicken in the fridge for about 24 hours. You can go up to 36 hours if need be, but regardless of the time, be sure to flip the chicken every 12 hours or so. 

And this is our chicken after the marinade.

Simply drain out all the marinade.

Follow up by rinsing the chicken in tap water.

And be sure to put the water coming from the faucet through the crevice of the chicken because a lot of marinade is still stuck in this area.

For the conscious ones (like me), you can finish the rinsing step by rinsing it once more with drinking water.

Now our chicken's set and it's time for seasoning. 

I don't want to be imposing on seasoning so you can do whatever you wish to do or use whatever you have. My only piece of advice is to use something colored such as soy sauce to give a nicer brown color to the chicken once it's baked. Moreover, it also lends a lot of flavor onto the dish.

I'm just putting a tiny amount of soy sauce, just enough for me to be able to massage the chicken's body with it and some excess to bathe the other side of the chicken.

Since this was the available seasoning in our house, I chose to use this one. But you can also use pepper, Magic Sarap/ chicken powder, fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary, or honey.

And since the dish in general is salty, to give a little sweetness to it, I'm sprinkling a little bit of sugar over the chicken's body. 

No need to put a lot of oil because the chicken will release all of its juices while baking. Just for a feeling of fanciness, though, I like to put a small knob of butter on top of the chicken. This is Emborg's butter.

And the next thing to do is simply bake it at 180C or at 356F. Just be sure to come back every 45 minutes or every 30 minutes to flip the chicken. 

Unfortunately, since this toaster oven was too small and it was simply too difficult to do it, I just had to leave it as is for the whole duration and deal with the chicken's skin getting burnt. I really recommend using a legit oven for this, and the only reason I baked it here is because our legit oven has a rodent infestation right now.

The loveliest thing about this chicken is that when you bake this, the whole house smells like a rotisserie. I just hope our neighbors weren't jealous.

And here's the final result, with the burnt skin removed and more seasoning added in. You'd be surprised that even the breast's meat is extremely soft and tender. And yes those sparkling things you see below it are the lovely juices from the chicken...

And here are some more photos, but with basil, because my mom thought that it'd look cuter with some fresh sprigs of basil. 

Since this recipe is totally based on estimation, here's a near-to-no measurement recipe summary for it.

My Beer Brined Chicken:

-1 whole chicken
-500mL bottle of beer
-Brown sugar (about 1/2 cup, but you can simply take the bag and see what you can comfortably dissolve in the marinade)
-Salt (more or less a maximum of 1/2 cup, but you can also estimate based on your tastes)
-Drinking Water
-a knob of Butter
-Seasonings (be free with this part, do as you please)

1.) Rinse the chicken and put in a bowl. Any bowl is fine as long as it will fit your refrigerator.
2.) Add in all of the beer, and put in the brown sugar and salt.
3.) Add water until the whole chicken is more or less immersed in fluid, and add in ice until you can barely see the chicken.
4.) Marinade for 24-36 hours in the fridge, being sure to flip the chicken about every 12-14 hours or so.
5.) Drain the marinade (throw everything down the sink).
6.) Rinse the chicken once more to make sure that all the beer has been washed off; be sure to rinse the crevice because a lot of beer gets stuck there.
7.) Garnish with seasonings. Feel free to use what you have or to use what you think tastes the best.
8.) Add a knob of butter if you want to feel fancy.
9.) Bake in an oven at 180C or 356F for 1.5 hours, flipping the chicken every 30-45 minutes or so. You can not flip if you have a really really big oven that has even heat distribution, but other than that, flipping the chicken is a must.
10.) Serve and enjoy.

Yaaay, that's it for this episode!

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