I selected a recipe that uses beer in two separate stages:
First, it’s used for a brine, in which the chicken soaks overnight.
Next, another beer is used to baste the chicken while it roasts.
The alcohol plays a chemical role in the brining solution. Water and fat don’t mix, but fat and alcohol do.
The alcohol is able to penetrate the fat-rich meat and carry the brine flavor along with it.
The addition of beer — which can break down fat — in the brine enhances the flavors of the dish in ways that water alone wouldn’t.