Brewmaster’s Chicken

Written by Damon on February 3, 2009

Roast chicken slathered in stout gravy and barley-fennel stuffing.

How much beer and beer-related ingredients can one put into a chicken? I might now have the record, but I’ve got a few ideas on how to beat it.

For starters, try marinating the chicken in beer. I used stout for the gravy, but for some reason crappy lager seems like a good marinade. You don’t use vintage wine when cooking so you probably don’t need to use quality beer.

My beer cheesecake had a lot of really intense flavours. If you want a really intense gravy, start reducing the beer 20-30 min. before the chicken is ready.

Personally, I’d prefer the intense beer reduction sauce with pork or maybe game, but if you’re trying to break a record.

Use your favourite roast chicken recipe and try the recipes below for stuffing and gravy.

Barley-Fennel Stuffing

The fennel and barley in the stuffing were decent matches. The moisture in the fennel helped soften the barley while the spent barley from brewing soaked up moisture from the chicken.

The combination worked well with the chicken and gravy, but I wouldn’t hesitate to try more typical seasonings with a barley base.

The barley was still little dry and, if you’re not trying to break a record, try using a 50-50 barley-rice mix as the base of your stuffing in place of bread crumbs. With the gravy, though, it didn’t seem so dry.

As with anything I cook, quantities are approximate.

Remember this recipe when you have guests with wheat allergies.


  • 1 cup of barley (after brewing)
  • 1 stalk fennel
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt

Chop the fennel and mix with barley and salt. Peel and add the whole garlic cloves to the stuffing. Then stuff the beast.

Stout Gravy

I can’t say it’s the first time that I’ve used beer in gravy, but it’s definitely the best beer-gravy I’ve made to date.

Hoppy beers seem to bitter even more when cooked. The stout I used this time was bitter, but not hoppy, and worked just fine.


  • pan drippings from chicken
  • 300 ml of stout
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 clove garlic

Mix drippings with stout and salt and boil at high for about five minutes. Once it comes to a boil, whisk corn starch with warm water and add it to the gravy. Crush and add garlic about 30 seconds before removing from heat and serving.