Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beer-Marinated Chicken & Other Summertime Deliciousness

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Sometimes in my quest to constantly try new and exciting recipes, I overlook simple ones that can be incredibly satisfying.  Last week I was craving something fresh and simple and came across a marinade recipe I'd been wanting to try.  It includes beer and we had a few fantastic craft brews languishing in the fridge, so I took it as a sign to give the marinade a try with chicken.

For those of you who are interested, I used one of my favorite local beers: Dogfish Head Beer for the marinade, specifically their "Burton Baton" beer, which is oak-aged and a blend of an English-style ale and an imperial IPA. Plus, the recipe only calls for 1/2 a beer so you get to enjoy the rest of it yourself...always a nice thing for the cook!

If you don't want to use beer in your marinade for the chicken, I would suggest using broth or stock. You'll miss out on the flavor of the beer but you'll still have plenty of flavor infused into your chicken.  The chicken doesn't taste heavily of beer either once it cooks, the marinade just really helps it caramelize and stay really moist and delicious!

The second recipe is a wonderful summer side salad that uses creamy avocado as the base for a dressing over pasta and veggies. It was perfect with the chicken and I'll definitely be making it as a picnic/cookout staple this summer!

Beer-y Delicious Marinated Chicken

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 oz of your favorite beer (1/2 a bottle)
3 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp. chopped fresh garlic
1-2 lbs. of your favorite chicken (I used chicken breasts, but thighs or drumsticks would be great too)

Whisk together your marinade ingredients in a large bowl and reserve about 1/3 of the marinade before pouring the rest of it into a large zip-top plastic bag.  Add whatever chicken cuts you're using to the bag and seal well.

Marinade for 2 hours in the refrigerator before cooking.  I like to cook chicken like this in a cast-iron skillet so I get a really good sear.  Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (adjust timing depending on the thickness and type of chicken you're using).

Add the reserved marinade to the pan and cover it, letting it simmer and reduce for 8-10 minutes.  Serve hot with a delicious salad on the the pasta salad recipe below!

Printable Recipe

Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad 

*NOTE: I followed this recipe exactly, except I only used about 1/2 of the dressing on the salad)

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