Last Friday I was able to visit the Los Angeles CBS studios. They even let me do a cooking segment. Originally slotted for 4 to 5 minutes, the loved me so much, they let me run to 6 1/2 minutes. Aren’t they great?
A few questions threw me off, “Were you in a sorority?” and “What IS craft beer?”
The first, I’m ok with dismissing, but the second left me to wonder. If you have to define Craft Beer in one sentence to someone who knows nothing about beer beyond the college Greek System drinking games, how would you do that? It seems like everyone has different definitions, some focusing on the size of the brewery, or the quality of the ingredients or the breweries funding source or even if the company is publicly trader. But what about the beer? What makes if truly craft? You could write entire books trying to answer that one question.
What is “craft beer”?
If you have a quick, one sentence answer for me, I’d love to hear it.
But in the meantime, I’m going to introduce you to a beer that was perfect for my sort of sweet, fairly spicy, beer infused chicken wings that are sort of perfect for the beginning of football season.
Dogfish Head, Festina Peche is brewed with peaches (not an extract) that feeds the yeast so the peach flavors are pervasive. Not a “craft beer” for everyone, but an excellent example of a well done Berliner Weisse fermented with peaches. It is also an excellent beer for this recipe.
- 2 1/2 lbs chicken wings and drumsticks
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 cup beer
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tbs honey
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp red chili flake
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Rinse the chicken wings in cold water and dry well.
- Sprinkle chicken on all sides with cornstarch and rub to coat.
- In a separate bowl, add the beer, soy, honey, chili powder, garlic powder, red chili flake, salt, and vinegar, stirring well to combine. Add the chicken, toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for ten to twenty minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Remove the chicken from marinade and arrange wings on the baking sheet and bake at 425 for ten minutes.
- While the chicken is baking, add the remaining marinade to a pot over medium high heat, stiring frequently, reduce until thickened and syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.
- Once the marinade has reduced, remove the chicken from the oven and brush with the thickened marinade, turn them over, brush with marinade on the other side.
- Return to the oven and allow to cook for an additional ten minutes, basting again.
- Allow chicken to bake until cooked through, an additional 10-15 minutes.
- (Note: the total cooking time for the chicken will be approximately 25-35 minutes, requiring basting every ten minutes)
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