by Tamar Love Grande
I grew up with Shake n’ Bake chicken. Every Wednesday, when I got home from school, it was my job to coat the chicken and cook the family dinner. It was delicious, but after five or six years, the weekly dish felt a little…tired. Unfortunately, my family loved it, and at age 14, my cooking skills didn’t extend to French cuisine.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m free to batter my chicken any old way I’d like. As it turns out, beer-battered chicken is what I love. The chicken comes out tender and juicy, with a light, crisp, battered crust.
Not only is this recipe tasty, but it’s inexpensive and easy to prepare. The finished dish doesn’t taste like beer, and all the alcohol is burned off during the cooking process, so it’s safe to serve to kids.
Beer Batter chicken is incredibly versatile and pairs well with just about anything. I usually serve it with a large green salad and corn on the cob. And beer for the adults, of course!
The key to this dish is selecting quality ingredients. If you can’t afford organic chicken, opt for flash-frozen high-quality chicken breasts, which should be a third of the cost. Use microbrewed beer for the best flavor.
Beer Batter Chicken
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 1-½ cups of beer
- 12 chicken breasts with ribs
- 3 eggs
- Cooking oil
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cayenne and black peppers and chili powder. Gradually stir in the beer, mixing until the batter is crumbly.
- Beat eggs and place in a large, flat bowl. Dip each chicken breast into the egg, and then coat in the batter.
- Heat oil to 350°F in a deep fryer or large pan.
- Add chicken and fry until golden, turning over each breast halfway through.
- Drain on paper towels until excess oil is absorbed.
Beer Batter Chicken is unabashedly high in fat, so if you’re eating healthy, use egg whites only and bake the chicken instead of frying it. Prepare the chicken as described, and then bake the breasts skin-side-down at 425° for 30 to 40 minutes, until the thickest part is cooked through. For easy cleanup, line the baking pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
If you make a large batch of Beer Batter Chicken, you can enjoy it all week long. In addition to reheating the breasts and eating them whole, you can also shred them and add the meat to salads and soups or make chicken quesadillas and tacos.