Beer Pot Roast Chicken

By Linda Roets

Right, it’s time to get out the big black cast-iron pot to cook a roast chicken dinner – and the way I do it, no oven is required! There will lots of time for making special meals when you’re on your summer holiday, and after several braais you may be feeling like something a little different, such as a home-cooked roast. 

Roast ChickenA chicken pot roast is delicious and easy to make, and actually cooks quite quickly. The flavours are amazing – this may be the most tender, flavourful chicken you’ve ever had on a braai, and it comes with a rich, fragrant gravy. To serve with the roast chicken, try some potato halves soaked in olive oil and braaied until crisp. With a big summer salad and a glass of chilled white wine, you’ll have a feast! We certainly did. To pot-roast a chicken, you’ll need your faithful Dutch oven or potjie pot, and a wood fire with flames, especially at first. Then to cook the potatoes, you’ll need hot coals, so put them on when your chicken is nearly done. It will take about an hour to roast a small chicken, slightly longer for a larger bird, and about 20 minutes grill time for the potatoes. Serves 4

• oil for frying
• 1 small chicken
• 2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
• 2 medium onions, peeled and halved
• 3 cloves garlic
• 1 beer
• 500 ml boiling water, mixed with 1 heaped Tbsp good-quality chicken stock powder (I like Ina Paarman’s stock)
Wash and trim the chicken. Pat dry with kitchen tissue. Heat a little oil in the pot over the flames, add the chicken and brown thoroughly. Take time to do this, as it will enhance the meal’s flavour and appearance. Once the chicken is browned to your satisfaction, remove it from the pot and set aside for a few minutes.
Add the bacon, garlic and onions to the pot, arranging the onions cut side down in the centre, and frying the bacon and garlic briefly. Don’t let the garlic burn, or it will be bitter. Return the chicken to the pot, placing it breast side down on top of the onions, and add the beer and stock. Cover with the lid, and leave to cook – it should simmer quite briskly.
There’s no need to turn the chicken over, so leave it to cook until the liquid has simmered away to form a thick gravy. The onions will have cooked soft and delicious, and the bacon and garlic will add marvellous flavour to that gravy. Remove the chicken from the pot, and carve.
Serve with the gravy poured over the meat, which will be tender and succulent. Enjoy!

This recipe appeared in the January 2012 issue.

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