So, we have a braising-roasting situation going on here and it is completely worth it. The chicken skin is covered in spices and placed into a roasting tray housing a can of your favourite brew. By keeping the skin dry, but adding a liquid, it ensures a spectacularly soft – and not dried and sad – roasted chicken. The beer braises and (almost) steams as it evaporates. And I like to think it adds a nice background yeasty umami to the chicken.
1 chicken, deboned, wings removed, halved
375ml beer (I used pale ale, go for something light and fresh)
2 tbsp olive oil
Spice blend for chicken
5 tsp sweet smoked paprika
large pinch salt
2 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 tbsp ancho chilli powder (or ground chipotle)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground chipotle
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
leaves from 1 bunch fresh coriander
leaves from ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
2-3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 medium eschalot (French shallot), roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp crushed chile de arbol (or ground chipotle)
1. Preheat the oven to 190C fan-forced (210C conventional).
2. Combine the spice ingredients in a bowl and then rub generously into the top of the chicken. Place into a high sided roasting dish, large enough to ensure the chicken pieces are sitting flat. Carefully pour in the beer, trying to avoid the spiced skin of the chicken. Slowly drizzle over the olive oil. By drizzling slowly, the spice mix won't run off the top of the chicken. Pop in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. If the chicken skin is taking on too much colour too quickly, loosely cover in foil so the liquid can escape, and continue to cook, removing the foil for the last ten minutes of cooking.
3. While the chicken is cooking, add the chimichurri ingredients to a blender and blitz to combine.
4. Add chicken to a serving plate and drizzle over chimichurri, serving extra chimichurri and the spice blend for sprinkling, to the side.