Recipe Shed

Spare marinade? Not a problem. Bring on the Beeroaster.

I have but a single gadget in my kitchen that I would replace in a heartbeat should it break.  The beeroaster.  This is a simple round metal dish about 12″ across and 1.5″ deep.  At the centre of it stands a metal cylinder about 4-5″ tall and almost 2″ across.  Into this goes the liquid you’re going to roast with, the chicken is them impaled on it, upright.  Into the oven, roast, enjoy.

As you’re cooking, all the fat drains from the chicken into the tray leaving you with ample juices to make a gravy with.  The beer (or wine, fruit juice, whatever) inside the cylinder boils, steaming the chicken from within.  So the succulence you lose from the fat draining is replaced with the flavours of your chosen beverage.  Golden.  Plus the skin ends up cooked from all sides so you’ve got an entire chicken’s worth of skin to munch on.

Following last week’s pulled pork I had a fair quantity of the masala marinade left over.  Not wanting to waste it, I marinaded a 2kg chicken in it overnight (and through most of the next day) to prep it for the beeroaster.  The cylinder was filled with roughly 2/3 home-brew lager and 1/3 remaining marinade.


Oven to 180C, chicken in, set timer for an hour.  Now it’ll take about an 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 hours to cook completely but if you set for an hour you know you’ve got plenty of time to sort out the trimmings.

After about 10 minutes, the smell in the kitchen was almost unbearable.  So good, so very, very good.  Had to leave the room.  Back in when the timer went off it was like walking into heaven!

New potatoes, bit of butter and fresh parsley from the garden.  Onion gravy made by my wife – secret weapons for gravy making are mushroom and anchovy ketchups along with a tube of unknown “Umami paste” – and some buttered carrots to round everything off and stop it turning into the usual meat feast!

chicken-afterThe skin?  Crispy, cruncy, delicious.

The leftovers?  Some bones.  Wing tips.  Gristle.  One chicken carcass, picked clean.

Verdict from the kids?  Best roast chicken EVER.


Cook-Along Friday

#CookalongFriday – Chicken two ways!

Keith’s challenge for me this week was this:  Make one meal, get another one from the remains of the first.  This is always difficult in my household as we usually devour everything on the table and fight over the scraps.  However, by stretching the bounds a little, here we go…

Roast chicken followed by a spectacularly simple chicken soup.

Roast Chicken

For this, I use one of my favourite kitchen gadgets.  The Chicken Beer-roaster.  This is the technical evolution of the old “shove a can of beer up the chicken’s bum and stand it on the braai” school of cooking in South Africa.  I got mine from but I’m sure others are available.  We were so impressed by this marvel that we bought several of them for Christmas presents last year.  All have been tried, sceptically, and then embraced.  You can, of course, roast your chicken on a tray, using a rotisserie, or whatever means you like.


  • 1 family roasting chicken.  Obviously.
  • Beer, for the beer-roaster.  The beer chosen does affect the taste of the chicken, you can use fruit juice if you like.
  • Flour, 1 or 2 tablespoons
  • Paprika and salt
  • Cumin seeds
  • Vegetables for roasting.  This leads into the chicken soup recipe, so you’ll need plenty…
    • Sweet potatoes, 4 or 5
    • Potatoes, 4 or 5
    • Shallots, small bag of, peeled.
    • Butternut squash, 1 medium
    • Whatever else takes your fancy – celery, leek, tomatoes, peppers of all colours, carrots, ask the kids!


  • Rub salt and paprika into the skin of the chicken
  • Chop the veg into 2-3cm cubes, peeling potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash.
  • Oven to 200C


From this:

IMAG0425 to this…


  1. Put the beer into the beer-roaster, put the chicken in pride of place (there’s a reason we call every chicken we roast “Roger”) and put it in the oven.  It’ll take 90 minutes to roast, so give yourself an hour on the timer and go do something else.
  2. When the timer goes off, spread the roast veg on a roasting tray or two (you want to make sure there’s plenty of leftovers for stage 2 later).
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin seeds.
  4. Open the oven, scoop some of the prepared veg into the tray around the base of the chicken, put the trays in where there’s space, close the door.  Give yourself 20 minutes on the timer and go play, set the table, that sort of thing.
  5. Remove the chicken and set on a rack to stand while you finish off.
  6. Put the beer and juices from the roaster into a small pan, add the flour and heat, stirring, until it thickens.  Best gravy you’ll get from a chicken!
  7. Serve up!

Chicken Soup

Taking the leftover vegetables and the bits of chicken that are hard to get off the carcass, you can make a very simple, superb soup.

The only extra ingredient you need is 2 pints of chicken stock.

  1. Into a large pan, put the chicken stock, the leftover roast vegetables, the leftover chicken bits and (if you’re lucky) some leftover gravy.
  2. With a hand blender, blitz the lot until smooth.
  3. Heat.

That’s it.  Dead simple chicken soup.  Chicken optional.  The more veg you’ve got left from the roast chicken, the better, and the more sweet potato there is in the leftover, the better.

Of course, you’ll need pudding to go with all this lovely stuff, and Keith’s got that covered over at the Diary of a Reluctant Housedad.  Enjoy!

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