Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beer Brined Chicken

So first let me start with saying how excited I am to be back on the blog. After an almost 2 month hiatus I am back with recipes and ideas to share! It's been quite a busy 2 months in the Thetford household. Since my last post, Robert completed his last round of exams in law school, graduated from SMU Law, and we moved to a new home.

Our new residence is a duplex, we have the entire bottom floor and it's bigger than where we were before and we no longer share walls with SMU college kids. It's quiet, blissful, and feels more like living in a house than we've ever had before. One of the great benefits of our new place is a wonderful covered porch that let's us use our new Big Green Egg smoker/grill.
Our new duplex
Vegetable garden with squash, zucchini, bell peppers, watermelon, cabbage and mint
Pots that Robert's mom made in the sixties and seventies filled with herbs and peppers
Since we've moved in, we have been grilling up a storm and loving every minute of it. Our recent favorite is a beer brined chicken cooked in the green egg. The original recipe comes from The Big Green Egg Cookbook and we've made a few adjustments to suit our tastes. Mainly switching the light lager beer for chocolate porter beer (yum!) and New Mexico hot chili powder for cayenne pepper and dark brown sugar for light brown sugar in the spice rub.
So far my kitchen is the only room ready enough for pictures.

Our new home office is in the breakfast nook located just off the kitchen
We had a few friends over for dinner last night and made this chicken and there was nothing left at the end of the meal. The brine makes the chicken super moist, and the rub adds incredible flavor to this skin of the chicken that makes you have to eat it, even though you know you shouldn't. Even though we made this chicken in the Big Green Egg, you could easily replicate the process in an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees with a vertical roaster and drip pan.

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Beer Brined Chicken

8 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
14 ounces chocolate porter beer
1 3-5 pound chicken
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 cup spice rub (ingredients below)

Spice Rub
3 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons spicy red chili (new mexico chili if available)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

In a large stock pot combine the water, sugar, kosher salt, and beer and stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
Add the chicken to the liquid. Depending on the weight of your fryer, the chicken may or may not be fully immersed in the liquid.
Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning part way through if the chicken isn't fully covered like mine was in the picture above.

When it's time to cook the chicken, preheat the green egg (or oven) to 400 degrees. Meanwhile combine the spices for the rub in a bowl and stir to fully combine.
Remove the chicken from the brining solution, rinse with water and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the brining solution.
Brush the olive oil on the chicken.
Generously season the entire chicken with the spice rub and place on a vertical roaster and set in a drip pan.
If using the green egg, place the plate setter into the grill and place the chicken on the plate setter.
Robert the grill master
Cover and cook at 400 degrees for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Remove and let sit for about 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Source: Adapted from The Big Green Egg Cookbook


  1. Staci this looks delicious :) You are making my mouth water, woman!

  2. This looks fabulous! You must serve this to us the next time we are in Dallas.

  3. Congrats on the new home and Robert's graduation!