Beer Bath Works Wonders for Chicken Sandwich

Written by J.M. HIRSCH for

My search for a tender, juicy and flavorful breaded chicken sandwich took me to the place where so much great thinking begins – the beer aisle.

After playing with various ways and ingredients for imparting flavor and moisture to this most ubiquitous of bird meats, I discovered that a beer bath had the biggest payoff in terms of big flavor with almost no effort.

Dump beer in bowl. Add chicken. Refrigerate. Drink more beer while waiting.

There’s no magic here. The acidity and sweetness of the beer simply work wonders with the flavor and texture of the meat.

What you do after that is really up to you. The chicken could be seasoned and tossed on the grill.

But I liked the idea of breading and frying them, then serving them over a simple slaw on a bun.

As for what to drink with it? Well, if I need to spell that out, you haven’t been paying attention.

Start to finish: 45 minutes (20 minutes active) Servings: 4
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12-ounce bottle pale ale beer
1 1/2 cups broccoli slaw
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons of butter
4 sesame seed hamburger buns
1. One at a time, slice each chicken breast horizontally through the center to form 2 thin halves.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the beer and the chicken. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine the slaw, mayonnaise and relish. Mix well, then refrigerate until needed.
4. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together the mustard and honey. Set aside.
5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the almonds until coarsely ground. Transfer to a wide, shallow bowl. Add the panko, garlic powder, salt and pepper, mixing to combine.
6. When the chicken is ready, remove it from the beer and pat dry with paper towels. Whisk the egg in a wide, shallow bowl. One at a time, dredge each chicken cutlet through the egg, then through the breadcrumb blend.
7. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Working in batches and adding more butter as necessary, add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
8. To assemble the sandwiches, layer a quarter of the slaw mixture over the bottom half of each bun. Top with a chicken cutlet. Spread a generous amount of the mustard over the top half of the bun, then place over the chicken.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 579 calories; 181 calories from fat; 20 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 98 mg cholesterol; 66 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 4 g fiber; 1,333 mg sodium.

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