Beer-Brined Chicken

Green food coloring is not required for this recipe.  You can celebrate the luck of the Irish on St Patrick’s Day with this Guinness beer brined chicken recipe.  Guinness is probably the best known of Irish beers.  It has been around since the 1770s.  Two interesting facts you might not know: it’s official color is a deep ruby red and 10 million glasses are sold every day world wide.  That is a lot of beer.  While I’m not much of a beer drinker, I do like to cook with it.

We have St Patrick to thank for this day.  He is the official patron saint of Ireland.  He was born in the late 4th century in Romain Britain and kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave.  After escaping, he returned later to convert the Irish to Christianity.    It was the Irish immigrants who turned this day into a fun way to celebrate everything all Irish.  Source is Encyclopaedia Britannica.

And yes we have an annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Grand Rapids.  Here is a photo from a couple of years ago.  Photo courtesy of Lauren Petracca.


Beer-Brined Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Brine and Chicken

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups Guinness stout or draught beer
3 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons mild-flavored molasses
1 whole chicken (3 to 3 1/2 lb)


1/2  teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1/2  teaspoon seasoned garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

For brine: In a large bowl, combine water, stout, salt, and molasses; stir until salt dissolves.  Place the chicken in a 2-gallon food-storage plastic bag set in a shallow dish.  Pour brine over the chicken; seal bag.  Marinate in refrigerator at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil.  Remove chicken from brine; rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine.  Place the chicken, breast side up,in pan.  Refrigerate uncovered 1 hour to dry chicken skin.  In a small bowl, mix all the rub ingredients except for the olive oil.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 300°.  Brush the olive oil over chicken and then sprinkle with seasoning mixture; rub into chicken skin.    Roast at 300° for 40 minutes (this low heat will help render fat and crisp the skin). Turn heat to 425°, cook for 30-40 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 170°.  Remove from oven, allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.  


1.  This makes a good marinade for pork chops also.
2.  Recipe adapted from a 2008 Better Homes and Garden grilling magazine.


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