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.