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Hoisin Stout Chicken Legs & What Are Hops?

Craft Beer 101: What are hops? via @TheBeeroness

Chances are, if you’ve spent anytime within stumbling distance of a Craft Beer Lover, you’ve heard the word "hops" thrown around like a rag doll. You may have been leery asking the "What are hops?" question for fear that you’ll be subjected to the mad beer-geek ramblings of your semi-inebriated friend. So, here I am to save you from the possibility of a lecture on beta, delta, and gamma resins whist trying to hide your shell shocked expression, with a quick and dirty introduction to this essential beer ingredient.

Hops are a flower that comes from a plant in the marijuana family. It’s believed that they were originally added as a preservative when trying to make water safe to drink, but due to their uniquely bitter flavor, the use became more about taste than preservation.

Craft Beer 101: What are hops? via @TheBeeroness

Hops have a very specific taste that comes from the oil and gives beer it’s bitterness. These levels of bitterness are measured along a scale called the International Bitterness (or bittering) Units, that we just refer to as a beers "IBU’s." Generally, the higher the IBU’s, the more bitter the beer. That bitterness is used to counter the sweetness in the sugars used to feed the yeast, and it’s that balance that dictates how "hoppy" or bitter a beer tastes, more so than the amount of hops used. For instance, most stouts have a very malty taste (malt, essentially, is the opposite taste of hops), but can have a very high IBU rating. Think of this like weather, the same temperature feels much colder with the wind chill factor. Beer tastes much more bitter without a malty balance. IBU’s are only one indicator of what’s in store for you, bitterness wise, but isn’t always a linear expression of experience.

Hops can be added at various phases of the brewing process and are often added more than once while the beer is being made. If you hear the term "dry hopping" it really has nothing to do with the hops being actually dry, it means that the hops were added at the end of the brewing process and steeped like tea, giving a bright floral taste to the beer, rather than a strictly cooked hop flavor. Most likely, the hops were also added previously in that brewing process and the dry hopping was purely for that bright hop flavor and an extra kick of bitterness.

Hops can be used in the flower state, but are commonly used after being compressed into a pellet that looks like food for a small furry pet. The highest concentration of US hops are grown in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re driving through Oregon and see long green vines strung up on tall wires, you are probably looking at the makings of beer’s most notable ingredient.

Hoisin Stout Chicken Legs via @TheBeeronessOh, and hey, I have some food for you. Thank you for indulging my need to Beer Geek Out for a few paragraphs. Because I’m so nice, I gave you both the oven and grill methods as not to taunt the grill-less causing Sad Face reactions across the world.

This chicken was great from the oven, but I have a huge crush on my grill right now so the win goes to grilled.

Hoisin Stout Chicken Legs

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 12 ounces pale ale
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 3 lbs chicken legs
  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane (or minced)
  • 2/3 cup stout beer
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 7.4 ounce jar Hoisin sauce (about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp sriracha hot sauce
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Directions

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, 12 ounces pale ale and salt. Add chicken, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes (if all ingredients are cold from the fridge, this is not long enough from any foodborne pathogens to form). Alternately, chicken can also be allowed to soak in the fridge for 3 to 6 hours.
  2. Rinse chicken well with cold water, pat dry.
  3. While the chicken is soaking, make the glaze. Add the sesame oil to a pot over medium high heat, add the garlic, stir. Add the stout, soy sauce, honey, hoisin, smoked paprika and sriracha, bring to a boil, stirring frequently until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  4. Oven method:
  5. Preheat oven to 425.
  6. Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the chicken (working in batches if necessary) and sear on all sides until browned, transfer to a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (note: browning the chicken before the oven will help you to avoid rubbery, chewy, skin on your chicken).
  7. Brush the chicken on all sides with glaze. Cook for thirty minutes, removing chicken from the oven and re-glazing every ten minutes. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165.
  8. Grill method:
  9. Preheat grill to medium high.
  10. Brush the grates with olive oil.
  11. Brush chicken on all sides with glaze.
  12. Place on hot grill, close the lid.
  13. Turn and brush with glaze every 2 minutes until cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
https://domesticfits.com/hoisin-stout-chicken-legs-what-are-hops/

Hoisin Stout Chicken Legs via @TheBeeroness

Beer Braised Chicken Sliders With Hoisin Beer Barbecue Sauce

There’s a good chance that when you think about cooking with beer, a meat recipe comes to mind. Your Dad’s beer marinated ribs? Beer can chicken? Beer braised pork? There’s a good reason for that.

Not just for the spectacular flavors that craft beer can impart on the meat, but because beer, especially high acid beer, acts as a meat tenderizer by breaking down tissue.

For this recipe you are free to run the spectrum of beer styles. Most recipes I write will be accompanied by stern warning about using any beer other than the type called for, this isn’t one of those recipes. That IPA I keep shaming you into avoiding? You can even give that a try. My gut instinct with a recipe like this was to use a light, high acid beer with herb notes (basil, sage, oregano) but I opted for a porter to test my "Any Beer Goes" theory.

The porter effect, as I am now calling it, gave a "meatier" quality to the chicken. Which turned out wonderfully, and gave this a bit of a pork taste.

The beer I used for this recipe was the Payback Porter by Speakeasy. It’s a fantastic choice for a porter because the notes are similar to those I see in barbecue sauces and rubs: smoke, coffee, cocoa, and molasses.

Next time I’ll use a beer with a high acid content for a little contrast, but as far as the beer that you pick, experiment and let me know how it goes.

 

Beer Braised Chicken Sliders With Hoisin Beer Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

    For the Barbecue Sacue:
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup beer
  • For The Braised Chicken:
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups beer
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 15 mini Hawaiian bread rolls
  • Yield: 15 sliders

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tbs canola oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Sprinkle the chicken with salt on all sides. Place in the pot and cook on each side until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Cover with 1 1/2 cups of beer and 1/2 cup chicken broth, cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  2. While chicken is cooking, prepare barbeque sauce by warming olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; add 1 cup beer, hoisin sauce, chili powder and soy sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until thickened and reduced, remove from heat.
  3. When chicken is cooked, remove from pot and allow to cool. Using two forks, shred chicken to as thin slices as possible, then add to hoisin barbeque sauce pan, tossing well to coat.
  4. Split rolls in half across the middle to resemble small sandwich buns, fill with chicken.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-braised-chicken-sliders-with-hoisin-beer-barbecue-sauce/

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Semi-Finalist Pulled Chicken Sliders with Hoisin Barbecue Sauce

I’ll end the suspense. I didn’t win. I had a great time and the competition was fierce. Well, they were actually really nice, lovely people, but people who had run themselves around this recipe circuit quite a bit. One woman, Roxanne, Has over 800 winning recipes to her name! Pascal owns a restaurant, Jennifer and Jamie have both made names for themselves winning dozens of recipe contests all over the country. Me? This was the 4th recipe contest I’ve ever entered. I was the rookie for sure. It was a fantastic experience for, I met some great people, had a wonderful trip to San Diego, I have such a better understating of what the judges are looking for and I am ready for the next contest, bring it on.

They even put me up in a fabulous hotel the night before the event. Here is Tater and I, enjoying the room:

 For those of you want to try out my Semi Finalist Chicken Sliders, I am now able to post the recipe:

Pulled Chicken Sliders with Hoisin BBQ Sauce & Pickled Slaw

 

Serves 4 – 6

 

4 Foster Farms chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless

1 ½ cups red onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings

2 cups cucumber, peeled and cut into matchstick sized pieces

¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup lemon juice

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, plus ¼ cup, divided

2 tbsp sugar

8 whole dried allspice berries

1 tsp whole cloves

½ tsp black peppercorns

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh garlic, minced

1 cup hoisin sauce

1 tsp chili powder

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

20 mini Hawaiian bread rolls

In medium bowl, combine onion, cucumbers, salt and lemon juice.  Let stand and room temperature 30 minutes.

In small saucepan over medium high heat, combine ¾ cup apple cider vinegar, sugar, allspice, cloves and peppercorns.  Bring mixture to a boil and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Strain the liquid to remove the cloves and allspice then pour over the onions and cucumbers and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place chicken in large pot or Dutch oven.  Fill with water to completely cover chicken.  Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to a slow boil.  Cover and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.

While chicken is cooking, prepare barbeque sauce by warming olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; add remaining vinegar, hoisin sauce, chili powder and soy sauce.  Cook for 3 minutes or until thickened, remove from heat and add sesame oil and stir well to combine.

When chicken is cooked, remove from water and allow to cool.  Using two forks, shred chicken to as thin slices as possible, then add to hoisin barbeque sauce pan, tossing well to coat.

Split rolls in half across the middle to resemble small sandwich buns.  Fill each bun with about 2 tablespoons of the chicken and top with pickled slaw.

Cookin in the fancy kitchen:

*The slider pictures, as well as the above picture of me cooking were taken by a photographer for Foster Farms, Charlie. Here is his website for more information: http://www.charliegesellphotography.com/#

*The picture of Tater was taken by my husband.

*I didn’t get a chance to take picture =(