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Bale Breaker’s Social Media Manager, Sara G, is confined at home in Seattle. To get through this time, and to find any excuse to go out and grab more beer, she’s cooking up Bale Breaker recipes that you can follow along with at home.
Like many of you, I’ve been spending more time than usual at home over the past few months. I’ve been a remote employee with Bale Breaker for nearly a year now, so being quarantined wasn’t as huge of an adjustment for me as it was for so many of my friends, family, and coworkers – but I did have to nix my biweekly trips across the mountains from Seattle to Yakima. I’m missing that hop-scented paradise, and in an attempt to feel like I’m still hanging out in the brewery every other week, I’ve thrown myself into a new Bale Breaker-centric hobby: figuring out how to cook with beer.
Bread felt like the obvious place to start, especially as my Instagram feed slowly transformed from travel and outdoor adventure shots to non-stop #foodporn photos of everyone’s homemade sourdough. I’m not much of a baker, and with yeast becoming a HOT commodity at the grocery store, I was thrilled to find out that you can substitute beer in place of yeast and still come up with a tasty bread – no decades-old starter needed! Recipe adapted from I Am Baker.
I had very little faith in my ability to make this bread. Like I said, I rarely bake, plus I had expired baking powder, the wrong pan, and salted butter vs. the recommended unsalted. And while adding the butter to the batter before baking, I felt a little gluttonous with all that butter. But lo and behold, once it all soaked in, I must admit, the butter did a great job of balancing the bitterness of the Leota Mae. Sure, it didn’t exactly look like the Instagram-ready sourdough of my dreams, but it tasted delicious!
This was definitely the recipe I was most excited to try. Is there anything that makes you feel more accomplished on a weekday evening than cooking a whole chicken? Beer can chicken is a classic, easy way to get a moist, flavorful bird relatively quickly. I was a little nervous about the bitterness level of an IPA (which, when coupled with heat, would likely increase), and I didn’t want to have to use a full stick of butter like I did in my beer bread recipe to balance those flavors. So, I turned to Field 41 Pale Ale to save the day. Recipe from Food Network.
This was truly insane. The skin crisped up perfectly and the spice rub was a perfect balance of spicy and smoky, while the beer kept the inside extremely juicy and tender. An easy, low-effort way to make a perfect chicken!
I realized I had a tiny bit of our Jameson Caskmates Topcutter IPA Edition left, and just knew I had to make something with that. So, in came Chrissy Teigen’s Chipotle-Honey chicken. This is from her cookbook, Cravings, but I found a copy of the recipe I used online here.
This chicken turned out great – despite the fact that I accidentally added all the marinade to the chicken rather than the recommended 2 cups (I blame the Caskmates)! The whiskey perfectly complemented the smokiness of the chipotles, and the mango salsa cooled everything down a bit. I paired mine with a Clarity Rarity (the citrus notes in that Hazy IPA went with this chicken perfectly), but if I were to have it again, I’d serve it with a Mango IPA – and lucky for you, you can buy that on our webstore right now!
This Memorial Day, I encourage you to incorporate beer into your barbecuing. Be sure to tag us @balebreaker and let us know if you try any of these recipes, or if there’s any other way you’ve used our beer in your cooking!
Posted May 22, 2020