Birds of a Feather Drink Together: Exploring Beer and Chicken Pairings
There’s just something about the combination of beer and chicken that seems to hit the spot for so many people. Whether it’s a cold brew with a plate of wings, or a hearty stout with a grilled chicken breast, this classic pairing has withstood the test of time. But with so many different beers and chicken dishes out there, how do you know which pairings will work best?
Understanding Beer Styles and Flavors
Before we dive into specific beer and chicken pairings, it’s important to understand how different styles and flavors of beer can complement different dishes. Here are some basics to keep in mind:
– Light beers (like pilsners and lagers) are great for dishes that are light and refreshing, like grilled chicken salads or chicken sandwiches.
– Hefeweizens and Belgian-style beers have a fruity, spicy flavor which pairs well with roasted chicken or chicken with spice rubs.
– IPAs and other hoppy beers have a bitter flavor that can cut through the richness of fatty chicken dishes, like fried chicken or chicken wings.
– Dark beers (like stouts and porters) have a nutty, roasted flavor that pairs well with grilled or roasted chicken dishes.
Top Beer and Chicken Pairings
Now that we’ve covered some basics, let’s dive into some specific beer and chicken pairings that are sure to please:
1. IPA and Buffalo Chicken Wings
The spicy heat of buffalo chicken wings pairs perfectly with the bitterness of an IPA. The IPA’s hoppiness can help cut through the richness of the chicken wings, making for a perfect balance of flavors.
2. Pilsner and Grilled Chicken Salad
A light, refreshing pilsner pairs perfectly with a hearty grilled chicken salad. The crispness of the beer can help bring out the fresh flavors of the salad, while the chicken provides a little bit of savory depth.
3. Brown Ale and Chicken Pot Pie
A nutty, malty brown ale pairs wonderfully with the hearty flavors of a chicken pot pie. The beer’s roasted flavor can help accentuate the flavors of the pie’s crust, while the savory chicken gravy can help balance out the sweetness of the beer.
4. Belgian Tripel and Roast Chicken
The fruity, spicy flavors of a Belgian tripel pair beautifully with a roasted chicken. The beer’s effervescence can help bring out the flavors of the chicken’s seasoning, while the fruity notes can add a touch of sweetness to the dish.
5. Stout and Fried Chicken
The nutty, roasted flavors of a stout can help cut through the richness of fried chicken. The beer’s bitterness can help cleanse the palate between bites of crispy chicken, making for a satisfying pairing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Beer and Chicken Pairings
What is the best beer to pair with chicken wings?
IPAs and other hoppy beers are the best to pair with chicken wings. The bitterness of the beer can help cut through the richness of the wings, making for a perfect balance of flavors.
What beer goes well with chicken fajitas?
A light, refreshing beer like a pilsner is a great choice to pair with chicken fajitas. The beer’s crispness can help bring out the flavors of the dish, while the chicken provides a little bit of savory depth.
What’s the best beer to have with a grilled chicken sandwich?
Light beers like pilsners or lagers are a perfect choice to pair with a grilled chicken sandwich. The beer’s light and refreshing flavor can help balance out the savory flavors of the chicken and toppings.
Can you pair red wine with chicken?
Yes, you can pair red wine with chicken, but it’s important to choose a lighter, fruitier red like a pinot noir or gamay. These wines can help bring out the flavors of the chicken, without overpowering it like a heavy red wine might.