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Craft Beer Times | Flavorful Fried Chicken Thighs and Grits with Charred Corn–Red Onion Relish

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

Brew Up Some Flavor: Cooking with Beer

Adding a Twist to Fried Chicken Thighs

Fried chicken is a classic meal that no one can ever get enough of. However, did you know that you could give it an exciting makeover? Adding beer to your fried chicken batter is a sure way to help you achieve a crispy and flavorful twist to your classic recipe. Here, we’ll show you how to make the perfect fried chicken thighs using beer.

The Secret Ingredient: Beer

The first step to achieving the perfect beer-battered fried chicken is to select your beer carefully. Pick a flavorful and rich beer that will give your chicken an extra punch of taste. We suggest using a darker beer or an ale, but any beer enthusiast can choose their favorite type of brew to add a unique flavor to the dish.

The Preparations

Before we can fry the chicken, we need to prepare it. Clean the chicken thighs and pat them dry using a kitchen towel. Next, combine your favorite seasonings in a bowl for the chicken marinade. You might want to add in some paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Here’s where your beer comes in handy.

Slowly stir in your beer into the marinade mixture, ensuring that it is well incorporated to create a lumpy wet mixture. Add the chicken thighs to the mixture, cover it using cling wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight.

Frying the Chicken

After the marination process is complete, the next step is to fry the chicken. In a separate large bowl, sift in the flour and add in a teaspoon of cornflour and repeat whisking this mixture.

Next, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade mixture, ensuring that you shake off the excess marinade. Dip the chicken thighs into the flour mixture and ensure that they are well coated. Repeat the process twice, creating a double coating on the chicken thighs.

Now, it’s time to fry. Heat up your oil in a large deep pot and carefully place the chicken thighs – four at a time – into the pot. Cook each piece for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove the fried chicken from the oil and place them on a kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil.

Charred Corn–Red Onion Relish and Grits

To complete this tasty meal, we recommend serving with charred corn–red onion relish and grits. You can make the relish by grilling a cob of corn on a grill pan until charred, then chop the corn kernels off the cob. Gather your red onions, cherry tomatoes, and mix them with the charred corn. Add in some salt, pepper, a splash of vinegar, and a teaspoon of maple syrup.

For the grits, you’ll need to prepare them according to package instructions. Stir in a teaspoon of butter, a pinch of salt, and grated cheese of your choice.

The Final Touches

Place the fried chicken thighs on a serving dish, and spoon the charred corn–red onion relish on top. Serve the delicious dish with a scoop of grits on the side, and you’ll have a crowd-pleasing meal that is both flavorful and impressive.

In conclusion, cooking with beer can unlock a world of flavors and can add an extra twist to your favorite dishes. Whether it’s a classic recipe like fried chicken or something more elaborate, experimenting with beer can make your meals tastier and more exciting. So why not grab a bottle of your favorite brew and get creative in the kitchen?


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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