If you know me personally or follow me on social media, you know that one of my favorite places on Earth is a little place called Tired Hand Brewing Company, a brewery just outside of Philadelphia. If you live in the area or are visiting, you must make the trip out. They brew intriguing beers that make you think about what you’re drinking. The beer itself is thoughtfully crafted and altogether unique. Although they specialize in the most amazing farmhouse ales, they consistently hit the nail on the head with their other styles as well. Aside from two beers, HopHands and SaisonHands, the tap list is constantly changing and giving you new and exciting brews to come in and try.
So, good beer. Yes? It’s also the food (locally-sourced, simple and delicious), the staff, the atmosphere. The owner of Tired Hands, Jean Broillet, has his hands in every single element of his business. You can catch him bussing tables, pouring beer and chatting with his customers. It’s the kind of business that feels like home.
When I found out that last week was Jean’s birthday, I felt it needed to be celebrated in recipe-form. Dr. T and I took a look at the current tap list and picked out a beer to cook with. The thing that really stuck out was Critical Anxious, a Bière de Garde. It’s brewed with wheat and spiced with hibiscus and grains of paradise. If you haven’t had grains of paradise yet, you are in for a treat. It’s like a tropical peppery explosion in your mouth. It works so well in this beer and I couldn’t wait to translate it to a recipe.
So here we are, my Tired Hands/Jean Broillet/Bière de Garde-inspired food. It’s a whole chicken, brined in the Bière de Garde and grains of paradise, roasted with a 7-spice rub and then drizzled in a plum sauce.
A Bière de Garde and grains of paradise brined chicken with 7-spice rub and plum sauce. Recipe inspired by Tired Hands Brewing Company.
Elements of the recipe adapted from Betty Crocker and Dave Lieberman.
for the brine
24 oz Bière de Garde
1 cup water, 1 cup ice
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp grains of paradise
for the chicken
3-5lb whole roasting chicken, cleaned
1 orange, sliced
3-4 plums, sliced and pitted, for garnish
potatoes, shalots, olive oil and sea salt, on the side, if desired
for the 7-spice rub
2 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp cloves
1 tsp grains of paradise
1 tsp sage
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
for the plum sauce
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup plum butter
½ cup water
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp grains of paradise, ground
1 tsp ground sage
12 dried plums, finely diced
step 1: BRINING
In a saucepan, bring your water, salt, brown sugar and Grains of Paradise to a simmer. Continue to stir until the salt is dissolved. Remove from the saucepan from the heat and stir in the ice. When the mixture feels to be room temperature, add in the beer.
Put your clean chicken in a cooking bag and put your cooking bag in a bowl.
Pour the brine into the bag, tie it up and refrigerate for 12 hours.
step 2: DRYING
Remove your chicken from the brine and rinse it thoroughly. Discard brine and cooking bag.
Set your chicken back in the bowl. Pat dry with paper towels. Place back in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours, uncovered. For the crispiest skin, go with the full amount of time.
step 3: RUBBING
Place all of your spice rub ingredients, except the olive oil, in a spice grinder. Grind.
Remove your chicken from the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels again. Rub the whole guy with olive oil.
Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken.
step 4: ROASTING
Preheat oven to 375°.
Stuff the cavity of your chicken with orange slices.
Place mister chicken in a baking dish, breast-side-up.
You can add potatoes or other root veggies in the dish with the chicken to roast up at the same time. (I tossed some purple potatoes and shallots in some olive oil and sea salt.)
Bake for about 90 minutes. You’ll want the meat thermometer to read 170°-180°.
step 5: SAUCIN’
In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in minced garlic. Cook about 2 minutes, until garlic gets fragrant.
Whisk in plum butter, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, grains of paradise and sage until fully combined. Then add in the dried plums.
Cook over medium-low heat for about 7 minutes.
step 6: FINISHING
Take the chicken out of the oven and let set for 15 minutes or so. Carve up some of your favorite parts. Drizzle with plum sauce. Garnish with plums. Serve with a delicious Bière de Garde.
Eat and drink too much. (‘Cause that’s what you do at Tired Hands.)