1 small “fryer” chicken (about 3-4 lbs), giblets reserved
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 lemon, seeded and quartered
1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
1 bottle Blue Moon beer (or other wheat beer)
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Put the chicken on a big cutting board. Make sure you remove the giblets and put them somewhere close by- you’ll need them in a couple of minutes. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and coriander. Put approximately 1 teaspoon of the spices in another small bowl and reserve. Use about half the bigger bowl of spices to season the inside of the cavity.
Now, stuff the cavity with about 3/4 of the onion, the lemon, and the fresh herbs. Using kitchen twine, truss the chicken. (We just tie the front tightly together and then tie the back legs together, using two separate pieces of twine.) Place the chicken in a roasting pan (something you can heat in the oven and on the stove top), and drizzle the olive oil evenly over the chicken. With the remaining half of the spices, sprinkle the exterior, trying to do so as evenly as possible. Put the remaining onion and the giblets all around the chicken in the roasting pan.
Roast this in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Take it out and add 1/3-1/2 of the beer. Just pour it on top of the chicken, but do so carefully to avoid disrupting the spices. Put it back in the oven for other 45-60 minutes. We took the chicken out when the internal temperature of the inner-thigh was 160 degrees. (A meat thermometer would be really nice to have here…)
When the chicken is done cooking, take it off of the roasting pan and put it on a platter, covering with tin foil. Remove the giblets and onions from the roasting pan (you’re done with them now.) Drain most of the fat from the roasting pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons. Put the roasting pan on the stove top at medium heat. Heat until the leftover juices/fat begin to simmer and then add the rest of the blue moon. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pan, getting up all of the really good fond that is sticking to the bottom. Let this cook for another two minutes.
Now- it’s time to make the gravy. Add about 1/2 tablespoon of the flour, and whisk it in with the cooked-down beer and chicken juices. If it’s not thick enough after whisking, add more flour until you’ve got what you think of as gravy. Take a spoon and give it a taste- if it’s bland, you’ve got some reserved spices, and you should throw those in. When your gravy has reached its desired consistency and seasoning, remove from the heat into a gravy boat or small bowl:
If you want to, you can cut the chicken in pieces like we do- wings, drumsticks, thighs, and then cut each breast into two pieces. (A picture of the dark meat pieces is at the top of the page). We find that kitchen scissors are the best way to go for this task. Or- you can bring the whole chicken to the table and carve it there:
Either way- give each person the cut they want, and be sure to liberally apply the Blue Moon gravy over each bite. If you thought ahead and made mashed potatoes to put the gravy on as well, you’re living right. ENJOY!