Roast Lemon-Ale Chicken is a different and unusual way to present a whole chicken, which is still one of the most economical ways to buy poultry. The whole chicken is \”butterflied,\” which means the backbone is cut out so that the two sides of the chicken (a breast, wing, drumstick and thigh on each side) can be opened up and flattened before cooking. (This recipe works equally well when the whole chicken is cooked intact, according to the same directions.) Place the chicken in a roasting pan and gently pull the skin loose. Make a flavorful rub by combining softened butter, lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves, sugar, salt and black pepper, and then spread the mixture both underneath the skin and on the outside of the bird. Pour a bottle of Brown Ale Beer and a little lemon juice into the roasting pan, add some twigs of thyme and cook in a 475 F oven for about an hour. Add another bottle of beer about halfway into the cooking process. When the chicken is done, pour the pan juices into a small saucepan and boil, to make a delicious pan sauce. Serve with baked potatoes or brown rice and a green salad or vegetable for a complete meal. Pour a glass of the same Brown Ale Beer or a favorite Lager to enhance the moist flavor of the chicken.

Roast Lemon-Ale Chicken

Serves 4

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), butterflied (see note)
4 TBLS butter, softened
2 TBLS grated lemon zest
1 TBLS chopped fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh thyme
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp sugar
2 bottles Brown Ale Beer (12 ounces each)
¼ cup lemon juice
1 TBLS chopped parsley

Position rack in middle of the oven and preheat oven to 475 F.

Pat chicken dry with paper towel and place in heavy roasting pan. Starting at breast, gently slide fingers between skin and flesh of the breast to loosen, being careful not to tear. Starting at side of thighs, loosen skin on thighs and drumsticks.

In small bowl, mix together butter, lemon zest, thyme, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, sugar and pepper. Rub half of butter mixture under the loosened skin and spread the remaining on top of the skin.

Pour one bottle of the Brown Ale Beer into the roasting pan. Add lemon juice and thyme sprigs. Place in hot oven and roast until skin is golden brown and the thigh meat registers 170 F to 175 F on a meat thermometer, about 50 minutes, adding the remaining bottle of beer to the roasting pan after 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes while finishing pan sauce.

To make the pan sauce, pour liquid from the roasting pan into a small saucepan. Skim off and discard any fat from top of the liquid. Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer 4 – 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in parsley. Season with remaining salt. Carve chicken and serve with pan sauce.

To Butterfly Chicken: Place chicken on cutting board, breast side down. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, cut down one side of the backbone, staying as close to bone as possible. Cut along other side of backbone and remove it. Press chicken open like a book, and flip over so that it is skin side up.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
700 calories; 41 g fat; 16 g saturated fat; 9 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugars; 60 g protein

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