Just about everything I used to cook my first chicken from Puggle Farm was local, including the sage and carrots from the garden. Did it taste better because of it? I think it did. I chose Two Metres Tall beer for this recipe – it's a great flavoured local brand.
- 2 stubbies Tasmanian beer
- 1.8 kg free-range chicken, jointed
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into modest chunks (or use whole scrubbed baby potatoes, 300–400 g)
- 2 large green onions, cut into pieces the length of your last thumb joint
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into batons the length of the onion
- 6–7 garlic cloves, whole
- handful of sage leaves
- 1½ tsp salt and some freshly milled black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Put the oven on 200°C. Have a swig of beer.
Get a deep baking or roasting tray (or even a wide casserole) and lay the chicken on the bottom in one layer. Push the potato between the meat so it will be covered with beer. Scatter the onions, carrots, garlic and sage over the top. Sprinkle evenly with the salt then tip the beer all over. You want the chicken to be just about submerged, maybe fully submerged but not by much. If you need more liquid (I did just say have one swig of beer) use water. If there’s too much beer take a pause now while you imbibe.
Cover the tray with foil and pop it into the oven. Cook for 1 hour. Take the foil off and cook another 20–30 minutes so the top of the chicken starts to colour and poke above the sauce. Turn the meat and do the same on the other side (try laying it on top of the vegies, skin side up, for best effect.) You want the meat to look browned but not burnt, the sauce moist but not overly runny (add a touch of water if it dries out). Remove from oven and serve immediately.