Stout Little Hen

November  2, 2009
4 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This recipe came about when I found some Guiness Stout that someone left in the back of the beer fridge (everyone should have one!). I actually started making this several years ago but decided to revisit and revamp it a bit ... this makes for a very juicy flavorful roasted chicken and dark rich gravy. Great on a chilly winter evening. —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • Brining the Chicken
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 8 whole cardamom pods, gently crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 navel orange
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups ice
  • 1 pint (16 fl oz) Guiness stout beer
  • 1 3-4 lb fat little roasting hen
  • Roasting the Chicken
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup stout beer
  • 1 navel orange
  • salt and pepper
  1. Brining the Chicken
  2. Bring everything but the ice and the chicken to a boil - I do this in a pot large enough to accommodate the chicken eventually as well. Boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Add ice, and make sure the mixture is completely cooled. Clean the chicken and put it in the brine. You may need to add additional cold water to make sure it is completely submerged. Set it in the refrigerator and allow it to soak for at least 3-4 hours (if you have time - do this in the morning before work then proceed when you get home)
  1. Roasting the Chicken
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Clean and peel and trim the celery and carrots, peel and quarter the onion. Create a "raft" in your roasting pan from the carrots and celery.
  3. Remove the chicken from the brine, drain and then place the orange cut in 8 in the body cavity (or as much as will fit - depends how big your orange is). Tuck the wings behind the chicken place him on the raft. Scatter the onions in the pan around the chicken. Rub the olive oil on the skin and season with salt and pepper. Pour the cup of stout and the broth in the pan and place in the oven. Roast the chicken until it is done – a bit over an hour - the temp in the thigh (not touching the bone) should read 160. While the chicken is roasting, baste 2-3 times with the liquid in the pan, and be sure to squirt some inside the chicken each time as well. When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and place on a platter and arrange the vegetables from the pan around it.
  4. To make stout gravy - Melt the butter and flour together in a small saucepan while whisking, then slowly whisk in 1 ½ cups of the roasting liquid (you may want to use a separator to remove some fat) and simmer for a few minutes until the gravy thickens. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper. Serve alongside the chicken.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • gluttonforlife
  • coffeefoodwrite
  • mariaraynal
  • aargersi

Recipe by: aargersi

Country living, garden to table cooking, recent beek, rescue all of the dogs, #adoptdontshop

7 Reviews

randirossman February 27, 2010
This is a staple for dinner guests, and always gets rave reviews. Really tasty and easy.
gluttonforlife February 26, 2010
This looks delicious. I'm wondering if tenting the bird allows it to steam and thus makes the skin less crisp. What's your take on this?
aargersi February 28, 2010
You know I hadn't thought of that - I do the tent very loosley - a pup tent of sorts :-) You could probably just rest it in a warm corner of the kitchen too, without risking the skin ....
coffeefoodwrite February 25, 2010
Very interesting recipe. I'll have to try this one. Thanks!
aargersi February 25, 2010
Thanks! Let me know what you think! I love when accidental discoveries turn into something good :-)
coffeefoodwrite February 25, 2010
I like the name too...very creative -- makes me imagine a proud little hen swimming in beer! =)
mariaraynal November 2, 2009
I've enjoyed aargersi's cooking many times (she's also knows her wine!) and she is talented and creative in the kitchen. Great recipe!