With the miserable weather outside, it’s the perfect time for some comfort food. This recipe for beer-brined chicken from chef Alessandro Vianello of Vancouver’s Bells and Whistles, “is like a warm hug from your mom.”
“I love it because it’s just really comforting and delicious,” says Vianello. “Not only does it taste good, it’s also very easy to prepare.”
At the restaurant, the beer-brined chicken is normally prepared with Bells and Whistles Pale Ale from Four Winds, but any reasonably sessionable pale ale can do the trick.
“Since this particular brew is exclusively available at the restaurant, readers can substitute with the Parkside Dusk,” he says. “It’s a versatile beer that pairs well with a lot of different foods because of its lower ABV and IBU.”
Dusk is flavourful enough to stand up to meaty dishes, but it’s also a good sessionable beer that can be enjoyed on its own or with lighter meals like salads, he says.
“At home, I like to serve the chicken with some roasted potatoes, carrots and gravy,” says Vianello. “At Bells and Whistles, we use the chicken in our “Fat Steven’s” sandwich with gravy, mayo and crispy fried onions.
1 whole high-quality free-range chicken
1 bay leaf
300 mL or 1 can of Parkside Dusk pale ale
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup salt
½ cup sugar
Water (enough to cover the chicken)
- Place the bay leaf, chili flakes, peppercorns, garlic, thyme, salt, sugar and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and cool the brine completely.
- Add the can of beer and stir, then add the chicken.
- Let the chicken sit in the brine and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
- Once fully brined, preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan, brush the skin with some canola oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for approximately 50 to 60 minutes, basting the skin with juices from the pan periodically.
- Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.