Root Beer Gives Your Chicken A Unique Sweet And Savory Flavor

Chicken is a versatile protein that can take on a myriad of interesting flavors, depending on the seasoning blend or marinade you use. Whether grilled on a barbecue, slow-cooked in a crockpot, roasted in the oven, or prepared using a different method for cooking chicken, you can infuse the protein with just about any flavors of your choosing. Using soda as a meat marinade might seem questionable to the uninitiated, but it is as useful as it is delicious. Root beer is the perfect marinade to bring out the savory tastes of chicken, while adding balance through the sweetness of the soda.

The original taste of root beer came from the roots of the sassafras tree. The extract from this root was typically combined with such spices as cinnamon, allspice, and anise, and then sweetened with honey, molasses, or vanilla. Then, in the 1960s, a study led to the Food and Drug Administration banning the use of sassafras root extract, causing manufacturers to pivot toward artificial root beer flavor. This means that flavors will vary among the best root beer brands. With that said, the general taste of root beer can be described as herbal, earthy, and sweet. This composition makes for a great-tasting chicken marinade, no matter what way you prepare your meat.

Getting the best flavor from your root beer chicken

There's a root beer marinade for practically every chicken preparation you'd like to attempt. For a slow-cooked barbecue pulled chicken, load up your Crock-Pot with boneless and skinless chicken pieces, standard poultry seasonings, and your favorite barbecue sauce. Then, pour a can of sweet root beer over everything, before covering it up and cooking it on low. Your home will smell amazing, and your chicken will come out tender, juicy, and filled with flavor. You can also cook this root beer chicken recipe on a stovetop, barbecue, or in the oven.

You can even try a riff on a traditional beer can chicken by turning it into a root beer can chicken for a show-stopping barbecue dish. Dry rub a whole chicken with your favorite seasoning blend, make sure your root beer can is only half full, and then stuff it inside the cavity and put everything on the grill to cook upright. 

For chicken breast filets, mix up root beer and spices, then soak your chicken in the mixture before grilling them or baking them in the oven. There's no limit to the possibilities of marinating chicken with root beer. Finally, complete your meal with savory vegetable side dishes like roasted carrots — to play on the sweet flavors in your root beer chicken — or a green side like a broccoli slaw. Embrace the beauty of root beer and its many amazing applications when preparing your next chicken meal.