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Beer-Brined Roast Chicken



2 1/2 cups salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 onion, sliced

2 lemons, halved

2 liters beer (lager or festbier)

4 bay leaves

5 cloves garlic, smashed

10 peppercorns

2 quarts ice


1 whole chicken

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup of neutral oil


Make brine

  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except ice, and bring to a boil. Let the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Remove the pot from heat and add ice to cool. All to chill before using


  1. Butcher whole chicken into halves, removing the back and neck.
  2. Let chicken sit in brine for 8 to 12 hours.
  3. Place a cooling rack over a sheet tray, remove chicken from brine, and allow it to air dry on rack, at least 4 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Season chicken skin with salt and pepper.
  6. Heat neutral oil in cast iron skillet over high heat, and cook the chicken, skin side down, until the skin is crispy and golden.
  7. Flip chicken and put skillet in the prepared oven, and let cook through, around 15 to 20 minutes.
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