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Christmas Tree Chicken

From the kitchen of Ellen McKinney, one of Steam Whistle's Good Beer Folks and co-host of the Food Network's upcoming series, "Fresh and Wild".


For this recipe, you'll need to a little bit of grocery shopping right from your Christmas tree! Juniper berries grow on the popular juniper tree that dons the windows of many Canadian homes each Christmas. Juniper berries are slightly blue in colour when young and look like peppercorns. They add a fresh kick to poultry and game.

Preheat oven to 475 F. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a single layer in a baking dish. Tuck in the garlic, bacon and herbs around the chicken pieces. Scatter the juniper berries on top of the chicken. Mix the Steam Whistle with the sugar in a bowl. Pour the beer and sugar mixture on top of the chicken. Bake 15 minutes. Turn the pieces over and bake another 15 minutes. Turn again and bake 15 minutes longer. By now the chicken should be cooked and sticky with caramelized sauce. If at this point the sauce has not reduced and thickend quite enough, remove the chicken from the dish and keep them warm. Pour the juices into a saucepan and boil on the stovetop until you've got just enough left for sauce. This method of "boiling down" is called a reduction and makes flavours of the beer, juniper and herbs intensify during the process. Remove the bay leaves from the sauce. To serve, place a piece of chicken on each plate and spoon the sauce on top.


  • 8 pieces of chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 heads of garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
  • 1/4 pound bacon strips, each strip cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 branch rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon juniper berries
  • 2 cups of Steam Whistle Pilsner
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar