A freezer-friendly recipe from Neven Maguire.


Serves 4–6

Prep 30 mins + marinating

Cook 2 hours

  • 1 x 2kg whole chicken (preferably free-range or organic)
  • 1 x 500ml can of beer rapeseed oil, for drizzling
  • 4–6 potatoes (each about 200g)

For the marinade:

  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 2 hot dried chillies
  • 6 mild fresh red chillies
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • Tomato and red onion salad with parsley
  • Butter pats
  • Lemon wedges


Cooking chicken on a beer can is nothing new – they've been doing it for years in Australia and the US. The secret is that the beer keeps the inside of the chicken nice and moist. Of course, it can just be oven roasted in the normal way or spatchcocked and barbecued.

If you don't like it too hot, adjust the number of chillies in the marinade.

  1. To make the marinade, put the vinegar in a pan with the dried chillies and bring to the boil. remove from the heat and cool, then pour into a nutriBullet or food processor. Add the fresh chillies, garlic, paprika, thyme, oregano, sugar and lemon juice. Blitz to a smooth paste.
  2. Place the chicken in a shallow non-metallic dish and use a small knife to score all over with small cuts that are no more than 1cm deep. Pour over the marinade, then using your hands (a pair of plastic gloves is a good idea here because of the chillies), massage the chicken all over, inside and out. cover with cling film and chill for at least 2 hours but overnight is best.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°c (350°F/gas mark 4). remove the top shelf so that the upright chicken will fit.
  4. Open the can of beer and pour about a quarter of it into a small, sturdy roasting tin. Give the marinated chicken another good smear in the marinade, then place it upright over the beer can and drizzle over the oil. roast in the oven for 1 hour.
  5. Put a criss-cross cut into the top of each potato and wrap it in tin foil. Pop the potatoes in around the chicken directly on the oven shelf. cook for another 30–35 minutes, until a crust has formed on the outside of the chicken and the drumsticks move easily when gently tugged. Leave to rest for 20 minutes while the potatoes finish cooking, then cut into portions and carve the breasts into slices.
  6. Arrange the chicken on a platter and pile the jacket potatoes alongside. Serve with a plate of tomato and red onion salad and separate dishes of butter and lemon wedges.