Beer Brined Free-Range Chicken Crown – where craft beer and free-range chicken come together

Jul 8, 2021 | Recipes

For many, beer and chicken pair perfectly. Here at Hanskraal, we’d have to agree. Beer marinades can bring wonderful flavours to chicken meat and have the ability to make meat incredibly tender.

As a result, we teamed up with craft brewery, Old Tin Hat Brewery, to create a recipe that brings beer and chicken together in an innovative way.

Old Tin Hat Beer is a truly local Overberg craft brewery that celebrates the forgotten memory and bravery of South African military heroes from World War II, in support of military veteran charities. This beer is brewed by Fraser Crighton – who also assisted in creating our beer and chicken recipe.

Beer Brined Free-Range Chicken Crown

Chicken Crown:
One whole Hanskraal chicken with the legs, wings and lower quarter removed. (These cuts can be used later for a wholesome soup, or even a braai).

660ml Old Tin Hat, Freedom Fighter Lager (2 cans)
1 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of good quality salt
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of dry ginger
1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
1 cup boiling water

Dry rub:
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of good quality salt
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 tablespoon of dry ginger
1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper

Rice vermicelli:
1/4 packet of rice vermicelli
4 tablespoons of sesame oil
White or black sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of chilli oil


First, remove the legs and wings from the chicken as well as the bottom half of the chicken under the crown. (Here’s a tip: Try not to remove too much of the skin from the breasts when removing the legs. Or remove the skin altogether if that is your preference.)

For the brine, add the sugar, salt, spices and boiling water until everything is dissolved. Then add the two cans of Old Tin Hat Freedom Fighter Lager and mix well. Add the chicken crown, breast side down into the brine and leave for 12 – 24 hours in the fridge.

Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with a kitchen cloth. Add the dry rub all over and pop into a preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for around 40-45 minutes. You can use the grill setting towards the end to crisp up the skin. Remove the chicken and let it rest for a few minutes before carving off the breasts and serving. Keep the bones for stock.

To make the rice vermicelli, simply heat as per the packet instructions and add the oils and seeds. We served with fried mushrooms. However, a stir fry, pok choy or cooked cabbage would also work well.

Our thanks to Fraser and Old Tin Hat for this juicy chicken recipe.


To order your Hanskraal chicken, view our pricelist here and we’ll deliver our meat products to you.