Cooking with Beer: Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken

Cooking with beer adds terrific flavor to any meal, including this Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken.

Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken by

I can tell that summer is fast approaching because we have grilled this week at least three times. My husband is usually in charge of this, so after the third night of grilling he seemed annoyed. “Again?” he asked. I didn’t remind him that I have dinner duty 7 times a week. I deliberately take Saturday night off, but then there’s the family dinner party or something else that I find myself cooking for. But, nevertheless, I’m excited to take the kitchen outside, if you know what I mean!

Sometimes products get passed on to me to develop recipes with. I don’t do this very often, unless I really like the product, company or challenge presented to me. This time, through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I was asked to create a dish that either features or pairs well with a New Belgium Brewing Company beer.

I admit that I am not a beer drinker, nor a big wine drinker. My hubby is both. But, I love to cook with both. The alcohol is burned off in the cooking process and you are left with a dish that is very flavorful and safe for the kids to eat!

Grilled Spicy Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers by

My first thought when I was given this project, was what goes well with beer? Instantly, I thought of a burger! And with these Grilled Spicy Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers, you will be reaching for your favorite brewski to cool your mouth off. Of course, I didn’t make them too spicy, since the hubs doesn’t do spicy. But, you can always crank up the heat and add more hot sauce. You can also substitute pepper-jack cheese instead of cheddar.

Beer Braised Pot Roast with Herb Dumplings by

Next, I wanted to cook with the beer. I’ve already done this in the past with my Beer Braised Pot Roast with Herb Dumplings and Grilled Elk & Deer. This time I butterflied a whole roast chicken, a.k.a. spatchcocking, and marinated it for 6 hours in a mixture of New Belgium Brewing Company’s 1554 Black Ale, onions, garlic, mustard and spices. The beer really makes this chicken juicy.

I placed the chicken breast side up in my cast-iron skillet and roasted it for 45 minutes at 425ºF. I originally wanted to grill it, but the hubby gave me the evil eye when I hinted about lighting up the fire. Okay, he can have a night off.

The Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken (pictured up top) was amazing. There was no overt beer flavor. And my kitchen had this amazing sweet aroma while the chicken quietly roasted in the oven. Super Easy. Super Delicious.

Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken

Spatchcocking is the method to butterfly a whole chicken. This helps speed up the cooking time. Marinating it in beer results in a juicy and flavorful meal. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 1 large whole roasting chicken, approx. 5lbs
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup coarse ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cup dark or black ale
  • 1 TBS paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground


  1. Wash and pat dry:
    • 1 large whole roasting chicken , approx. 5lbs
  2. If the giblet and neck are in the chicken cavity, remove them and reserve for another use or discard.
  3. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a cutting board.
  4. Using poultry shears or a large, sharp knife, cut along each side of the backbone.
  5. Pull the chicken open slightly to cut the backbone out completely. Reserve for stock or discard.
  6. Turn the chicken breast side up and open it as flat as possible.
  7. Press down firmly to break the breastbone and flatten the bird.
  8. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels.
  9. In a large container that can hold the butterflied chicken whisk together:
    • 1 large onion , diced
    • 6 garlic cloves , crushed
    • 1/3 cup coarse ground mustard
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 cup dark or black ale
    • 1 TBS paprika
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  10. Place butterflied chicken in to the marinade and coat both sides.
  11. Cover and refrigerate 5-6 hours, flipping chicken over to marinate evenly.
  12. Remove chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to roasting.
  13. Preheat oven to 425ºF and place chicken in a large cast-iron skillet, breast side up.
  14. Roast chicken for 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh away from the bone registers 170º-175ºF. If chicken starts to burn, loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil.
  15. Remove from oven and let chicken sit for 5-7 minutes, then serve.


Cooking Tips: Also great on the grill! Grill the chicken bone side down over medium-high direct heat in a covered grill for ten minutes. Flip the chicken over and grill the chicken over direct heat for an additional ten minutes Be careful so that it doesn't burn. Reduce heat slightly, if necesary. With a meat thermometer, check the temperature of the breast. If it hasn't reached 165ºF, move the chicken to grill over indirect heat, skin side up, until it's done. Remove the chicken and let it rest, covered loosely with foil, for ten minutes prior to serving.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken Detail

Here are some other great recipes that use beer:

Caramelized Onion Dip with Beer

Caramelized Onion Dip with Beer by

Osso Buco with Beer, Olives, and Gremolata

Osso Buco with Beer, Olives, and Gremolata by

Grilled Elk & Deer

Grilled Elk & Deer by

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14 Responses to Cooking with Beer: Black Ale Marinated Spatchcocked Chicken

  1. Whoa. Look at that chicken!!! OK, I love Fat Tire. This is soooo beautiful. Printing!


  2. Merut at #

    May I just say,that I truly applaud your beer choice (Fat Tire). Love it!

    And that chicken picture took my breath away. It looks so good. We would be grilling about now, but our propane tank is empty. I.e. we are being very, very lazy.

  3. I have to admit that this has been the best looking roasted chicken I have ever made! Gotta love the cast iron skillet, too!

  4. Deborah Dowd at #

    This sounds great- might be tempted to try with a cornish hen and do it in my panini maker!

  5. That chicken looks magnificent! Fantastic colouring. I think it's good you let the hubby off for this one. Cooking a whole chicken on the BBQ can be quite time consuming if you are constantly having to check it. I'm always worried if the grill is hot enough and it's not as exact as an oven. At least with the oven, you can go and do something else for 45 minutes.

    • patrick at #

      Good tip to grilling a whole chicken: Light one side of the grill, put the chicken on the other.

  6. Yay for grilling season! I think all of the dishes look scrumptious, my mouth is watering in fact 🙂

  7. Beautiful. Everything goes good with beer. 😉

  8. How did I miss this post?! That chicken looks amazing!!! I cook with wine a lot, but never beer. My husband will be sooo happy about this recipe idea! He calls himself a "beer connoisseur" – he is actually the one who made me a snob about beers! Thank you, as ALWAYS, for such great inspiration, Laura. 🙂 I'll be making this on Saturday!

  9. Hi Laura, I said it before and I'll say it again, that chicken looks scrumptious! Gorgeous shot too. Thanks for participating in this month’s YBR 🙂

  10. Mihaela at #

    Can I tell you how my mouth is watering when I look at your chicken? :)) Sooo good!

  11. I love cooking with beer and this recipe looks so good! Great photos. So glad to have found you through YBR.

  12. Thanks, everyone. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out!

  13. Ok, I am totally missing the boat on the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program! Your spatchcocked chicken looks fabulous and because I love cooking with my cast iron skillet, so was immediately drawn to the photo 🙂

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