Beer-B-Q Beer Really Does Go With Everything

Ashley Matuszak

Beer is a beverage that is certainly popular among college students. However, this mixture of barley and hops is not just for drinking. Whether it’s the secret ingredient in a killer fish taco, or the featured star in “beer butt” chicken, beer’s unique wheat flavor goes well with several easy-to-make dishes that are sure to please.

Keg-Stand Chicken
By sitting the chicken on top of a beer can, the alcohol inside evaporates. This creates beer steam that smokes the chicken from the inside-out. The end result? A tender, juicy chicken that even those who don’t drink beer will enjoy.

3-5lb whole chicken
¼ cup room temperature butter
1tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
½ can of beer

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the top and center racks of the oven and place the chicken on the bottom rack. Combine the salt and spices and reserve 1 tablespoon of the dry rub. Next, combine the butter with the remaining spice mixture to create a paste-like consistency. Remove all the gizzards from the chicken and cut any excess fat away from the cavity. Wash the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Then, rub the butter and spice mixture over the outside of the bird and under the skin of the breast meat.
Next comes the fun part- drink half the beer! Make sure to drink only half, because you will need at least 6 ounces to get the full beer flavor. No fancy beer needed here; I’ve found that the cheapest beers like Coors and Budweiser work best. Take the tablespoon of reserved dry rub and carefully put it into the beer can. Doing so will ensure that the beer and spices will meld into one delicious, complex flavor.
The next step is the most important – helping your chicken do a keg-stand! Place the beer can in the center of a roasting pan and carefully sit the chicken on top. Slide your chicken into a 375 degree oven for 90 minutes. Be sure to check your chicken about 45 minutes in and tent it with aluminum foil if it gets too brown.

Makes 4-6 servings

Beer Battered Fish
The beer is the secret ingredient to make the batter extremely light and flaky. Carbonation does wonders for batter that is used for frying. Many recipes for tempura batter call for club soda instead of water because of the carbonation’s ability to make the batter sturdy, yet not heavy. This fish can be served in a number of ways: in a tortilla with some cabbage and sour cream for a fish taco, with slices of lemon and a good brand of oven French fries or even on a roll with tartar sauce and shredded lettuce for a fish sandwich.

1 pound of cod fillets
9 ounces of beer (light beer works just as good, this is about ¾ of a can)
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable oil

Take a couple of gulps of beer and combine the rest with the flour and whisk together. The consistency should be a little heavier than a pancake batter. Then, add the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Your cod fillets should be between ½ and 1 inch thick, and between 4 and 6 inches in length. Sprinkle the filets lightly with salt, and roll them in a little bit of flower, shaking off the excess. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven. You may need more or less oil depending on the size of your skillet. Put the back of a wooden spoon inside the oil. When bubbles start to form around the spoon, the oil is ready.
Carefully place your fillets in the oil, dropping them away from you. Fry 3 or 4 filets at a time, depending on the size of your pan. The oil temperature will drop too low if you crowd the pan. Let the filets cook until they turn golden on each side, which should take between 2-4 minutes. When they are done, let them drain on paper towels or on brown bags, and lightly sprinkle them with salt.
So there you have it. Beer has found yet another way to find its way into our gullets. It can now add “food enhancer” to its resume, along with ice breaker, mood amplifier and giver of beer pong.