Actor turned chef Freddie Prinze Jr. adds serious flavor to roast chicken with Mexican beer and lots of citrus. Serve the bird with his flavorful sides of fried Brussels sprouts and perfectly caramelized roasted carrots.
Fried Brussels Sprouts
- Canola oil, for deep frying
- 1 dozen brussels sprouts, washed and dried
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 whole chicken (5 to 6 pounds), or use 2 smaller birds
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled but whole
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion, thickly sliced
- 1 orange, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 3-4 cups chicken stock
- One 12-ounce can Mexican beer
- 1 pound carrots, peeled
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 sprigs fresh herbs such as mint, thyme, basil, rosemary, or sage (optional)
For the Beer Roast Chicken:
1. Preheat the oven to 450°. Place a roasting rack in a large roasting pan.
2. Gently separate the chicken skin from the breast meat and use your fingers to gently spread the butter under the skin. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken with a few pinches of salt and pepper and stuff it with the shallot, garlic and 2 slices of the lime.
3. Rub the outside of the skin with the olive oil and then sprinkle the skin evenly all over with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, the ancho powder and cayenne pepper.
4. In the bottom of the roasting pan under the rack, scatter the slices of onion, orange, lemon, and remaining slices of lime. Place the chicken on the rack. Add 3 cups of the chicken stock, then place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
5. Reduce the temperature to 350°, add the Mexican beer to the pan, cover the chicken loosely with foil and continue to roast for 45 minutes, basting once or twice and adding more chicken stock if the pan becomes dry.
6. Remove the foil and roast until the chicken is cooked through, the juices run clear, and the internal temperature is 165°, about 2 hours total, basting once or twice and adding more chicken stock if the pan is dry. (If you're cooking 2 smaller birds, check for doneness after 1 hour 20 minutes.)
For the Fried Brussels Sprouts:
1. Line a large bowl with paper towels.
2. Pour 2 to 3 inches of oil into a Dutch oven or deep skillet. Heat the oil to medium-high (around 350°) or until it begins to simmer.
3. While the oil heats, trim the root end of the sprouts and gently remove the leaves, paring away the stems as needed. (You may not be able to remove them all from the tight inner core, so save whatever you don't use to slice into a salad or chicken soup)
4. Being very careful of splattering— the drier your sprouts, the better—in small bunches, place the leaves in the hot oil. Cook them until crispy and brown, about 1 minute or less, using a spoon or the strainer to toss the leaves in the oil so both sides fry.
5. With the strainer, remove the sprouts from the oil to the paper towel-lined bowl.
6. When all the leaves are cooked, place the fried leaves in a serving bowl, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and toss immediately with tongs or two spoons until the leaves are evenly covered.
For the Roasted Carrots:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. In a medium baking dish, add the whole carrots and drizzle the olive oil. Season generously with a pinch or two of salt and pepper, the same way you would season a chicken breast before you sear it. Use tongs or a spatula to toss the carrots with the oil, salt and pepper, making sure they're well covered. Scatter the herbs (if using) on top and toss again.
3. Roast for 45 minutes, and we're done. If you used herbs, remove before serving, drizzled with a little more olive oil, if you'd like.