B.C. summer recipes: Railtown Café’s fool-proof method for tender beer-brined chicken

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      If you’re a barbecue chicken fan but have struggled to ensure that the meat stays tender during the cooking process, chef Dan Olson from Railtown Café and Catering is sharing his technique and instructions.

      His fool-proof method uses brine that tenderizes the meat to the bone.

      If you'd like to try your own hand at making this chicken yourself, the recipe from Olson is listed below.

      But for those who prefer to leave everything to the culinary experts, you can also order this barbecue chicken at Railtown Cafe's Tailgate BBQ Series from July 27 to 29.

      After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Railtown crew will fire up their 12-foot custom-made barbecue to serve a Southern-style feast, including slow-smoked brisket, pork shoulder, bratwurst, corn on the cob, jalapeño corn bread, side salads, and more. Plus, there are vegetarian options and summer drinks

      It’ll take place at a lot at 460 Railway Street (one block away from the Railtown location) and tickets can be purchased online.

      Railtown Café and Catering
      Leila Kwok

      Railtown Café’s beer-brined chicken

      1 whole free range chicken, washed and dried
      half a lemon
      half a head of garlic, crushed
      salt and coarsely cracked pepper
      butcher's twine (optional)
      1 litre beer brine

      Beer brine
      750 ml water
      250 ml beer
      50 g salt
      50 g light brown sugar
      a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary
      3 garlic cloves, crushed
      1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns

      Make the brine by combining everything, bring to a simmer, remove from the heat, and cool completely.
      Submerge the bird in cold brine and let chill in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours.
      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil then place a roasting rack on top.
      Remove the bird from the brine and place it on the rack. 
      Dry the bird well and stuff the lemon and garlic inside the cavity.
      At this stage, you are welcome to tie the bird with butcher’s twine, however it also works great without it.
      Season generously with salt and coarsely cracked pepper.
      Bake at 177 C (350 F) with convection for about 20 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the bird.
      To check the bird, insert a thermometer into the top of the breast until it reaches the middle of the breast plate. Remove the bird when the internal temperature reads 66 C (151 F).
      Let the bird cool for at least 25 minutes before carving.   

      Railtown Café and Catering
      Leila Kwok
      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.