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Craft Beer Times | Beer-Infused Fried Chicken Thighs with Grits and Charred Corn-Onion Relish

Beer-Infused Fried Chicken Thighs with Grits and Charred Corn-Onion Relish

Beer-Infused Fried Chicken Thighs with Grits and Charred Corn-Onion Relish

Brew Up Some Flavor: Cooking with Beer

Fried Chicken Thighs with Grits and Charred Corn–Red Onion Relish

Who doesn’t love a cold beer to go with their favorite meal? But did you know that beer can also be a great ingredient in your cooking? With a range of flavors and complexities, beer can add a whole new dimension to classic recipes.

One recipe that never fails to impress is fried chicken, this classic American dish gets an upgrade with the help of beer. The addition of beer in the batter adds a deep flavor profile and crisp texture that everyone will enjoy. Serve it with cheesy grits and a charred corn–red onion relish, and you’ll be in food heaven.

The Beer:
For this recipe, use a light beer with a hint of hops, like a pale ale or pilsner. The beer batter enhances the taste of the chicken without overpowering it. Pro-tip: have a cold beer on hand while cooking to keep you hydrated and in the mood!

The Chicken:
Ingredients for the chicken:

– 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
– 2 cups of flour
– 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon of paprika
– 1 tablespoon of salt
– 1 tablespoon of pepper
– 1 bottle of light beer
– Oil, for frying

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
3. Slowly pour the beer into the dry ingredients, whisking until you get a smooth, thick batter.
4. Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat.
5. Dip each chicken thigh in the beer batter and shake off any excess.
6. Carefully place the chicken in the hot oil, do not overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes per side.
7. Transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Keep warm by placing in the preheated oven while you prepare the grits and relish.

The Grits:
Ingredients for the grits:

– 1 cup of grits
– 4 cups of water
– 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
– Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil.
2. Slowly add the grits, stirring constantly with a whisk.
3. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the grits are tender and thickened, about 20-25 minutes.
4. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
5. Keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

The Relish:
Ingredients for the relish:

– 2 ears of corn, shucked
– 1 red onion, sliced
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil
– Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the grill to high.
2. Brush the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the corn for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally until charred on all sides.
4. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
5. Using a sharp knife, remove the kernels from the cob and place them in a bowl.
6. Add the sliced red onion and toss to combine.
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestions:
Plate the crispy fried chicken thighs with a healthy serving of cheesy grits and top with the charred corn and red onion relish. A cold beer on the side completes the dish. Enjoy this Southern-inspired recipe with your family and friends, and raise a glass to the goodness of beer in cooking. Cheers!


Dustin is a writer about craft beer and a professional brewer in the city of Chicago. He has written for several magazines and has over a decade of experience in the beer industry. He is currently working on a book about the history of beer in Chicago.

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