Beer-Can Roasted Chicken with Fig-Jam Pan Sauce
If juiciness is your goal, pop open a frosty one, set your chicken on top of the can, and then leave the pair alone in the privacy of your oven. The stout makes the meat incredibly moist and gives it a subtle sweet-and-malty flavor. A little leftover beer blended with a couple of tablespoons of fig jam transforms the pan drippings into a rich, tasty gravy.
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Coarse salt
- 1 can stout, such as Guinness
- 1 small bunch fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons fig jam
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub skin with butter, and season with salt. Pour out 1/2 cup stout from can; reserve. Poke holes in top of can using a church key. Place thyme in can, and set in a large ovenproof skillet. Place chicken over can, balancing legs to keep it standing like a tripod.
Carefully transfer chicken to oven, breast side first. Roast for 20 minutes. Baste with pan juices. Roast, basting twice, until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reaches 155 degrees, about 25 minutes more.
Carefully remove skillet from oven. (Steady chicken with 1 hand, using paper towels or mitts to protect your hand.) Let chicken rest (it will continue to cook) until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reaches 165 degrees, about 10 minutes, then remove from can. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, discard can, and pour pan juices into a cup; skim fat. Return juices to skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup stout, and bring to a simmer, scraping up brown bits. Mix together water and flour. Whisk into skillet. Boil for 1 minute. Whisk in jam. Simmer until thick, about 2 minutes. Serve chicken with sauce.