Baste Chicken With Beer And Herbs For A Flavorful Dish

Beer and chicken are a match made in heaven, and we don't just mean eating the two together at a sports bar. The beverage is often a top choice for battering poultry as well as fish and other fried foods. To get the most flavor out of your chicken, baste it with beer and a few herbs.

Whether you fry chicken strips or onion rings, beer is an integral ingredient for the batter. Via its carbonation, it delivers a light, airy quality to fried foods that makes the experience of eating them so much better. Why not carry over those benefits and more when roasting or grilling chicken? A slightly more elegant take on beer-can chicken, the ale-infused poultry is kept moist and cool from the basting and also takes on the malty flavor of beer.

Create a marinade by mixing beer with olive oil and adding in a few herbs and spices. You don't need to be a beer enthusiast to know that no brew is created equally. However, they tend to lean a little sweet, so ground the basting liquid with earthy herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, or sage.

Choose herbs based on the beer you have

Beer ranges from light and fruity to dark and bitter; it's impossible to choose the absolute perfect herb for the drink. Instead, start with what you want to eat your chicken with and pick a type of beer. Something classic like baked chicken with a side of fries and an everyday salad with herby lemon vinaigrette requires a classic beer. A light, crisp lager like Miller Lite or Corona Extra works best with rich, savory herbs — think basil or marjoram.

For a dish that's on the sweeter side, opt for fruit beers. Something sweet with hints of mango, orange blossom, or grapefruit works well with a tangy coleslaw or sauteed veggies. Choose herbs that enhance the bright flavor of the fruity beer. Zesty herbs like mint, thyme, or lavender are the perfect accompaniment to a mellow, fruity beer. If it's something citrusy, like a lime-flavored beer, use cilantro and chives and shred the chicken to make leftover makeover shredded chicken tacos.

Enhance your favorite dark, caramelized stout with the woody flavors of rosemary, tarragon, and bay leaves. To play up those rich, bitter flavors, a dash of heady spices like cinnamon and nutmeg offer smoky hints of sweetness. Balance out this woodsy, roasted chicken with something light yet savory — this cheesy asparagus galette provides a hint of tang from the lemon, followed by an undertone of umami courtesy of the goat cheese.