Mar 6, 2015

Cooking with Beer

Alyssa and I love to drink and this blog was created to celebrate our love of doing so, but we would be remiss if we also didn't sometimes write about food - specifically cooking food with alcohol.*

For the majority of my adult life I was a vegetarian...until a few months ago when I decided to start eating meat again. Not only did this open up so many more options to eat (and sandwich options at my beloved Potbelly <3), but I can now get a little more creative with my cooking.

One of my first forays in cooking meat
As a vegetarian, most of my experience cooking with alcohol was limited to risotto (very delicious). However, since starting to eat meat, I have found various ways to incorporate beer or wine into my cooking. Cooking with alcohol can add a really nice flavor and moistness to meat...and you can drink whatever you don't use! My most recent foray into mingling meat and beer was making slow cooker BBQ chicken. It was so tasty that I decided I would share the recipe.  

I cook fairly often, but I'm far from an expert, and I think this recipe would be easy for cooks of all skill levels. I also improvised this recipe (only really looking up how long to cook the chicken and getting a little input from my boyfriend), so feel free to add your own take on it:

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

-3 Chicken Breasts (you could add more, just make sure to increase the other ingredients too!)

-about 3/4 of a 16oz. bottle of BBQ sauce (I used 3/4 because that is what I had left but it seemed to work!)

-about 6-8oz of beer (I find 312 to be a perfect beer for cooking. It has a mild flavor but is still better than the light beer you drank in college)

Medley of Spices:
I used 1 tbsp Chili Powder, 1 tsp Cumin, a bit of Paprika, some cayenne, some garlic powder and salt.

Image via

Cover the chicken in the spice mixture and then throw the rest in the pot along with the other ingredients. Put the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours...and that's it! Once the chicken is done, it easily falls apart with just a fork. It makes about 5-6 servings, depending on how much you eat.

In my opinion, the beer adds a nice mild flavor to the chicken - without it the BBQ sauce might be too sweet or tangy. It also kept the chicken from getting too dry and the BBQ sauce from getting too thick. 

This chicken would taste great on a sandwich, but I was so prepared for this recipe that I forgot to pick up bread...I ate it with a side of homemade mac and cheese - perfect for the frigid temperatures outside!

Aside from BBQ chicken, I've also used beer/wine to make chicken tacos and cauliflower tacos, risotto, a whole roasted chicken and pork chops - other recipes that I'm sure I'll be sharing!

*One of us has also been too busy watching House of Cards to visit new bars.

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