Friday, 27 January 2017

Blackened Beer - Brined Grilled Chicken

Did you know that cooking with beer uses about 50 percent fewer calories than cooking with oil? One tablespoon of olive oil has approximately 120 calories, while an entire 12-ounce can of beer has around 146, breaking down to fewer than seven calories per tablespoon. It’s even been said that cooking with beer can enhance the flavors in foods, especially meat. But that’s not all — it can be healthier, too. Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., and author of “The Greek Yogurt Kitchen,” explained to Self that “beer can actually boost your health because it is packed with B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.”

Blackened Beer-Brined Grilled Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 medium bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
2 (12-ounce) bottles dark or amber beer
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
Combine the cider, sugar, salt, cinnamon, bay leaf, peppercorns, and cloves in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir just until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let to cool to room temperature.
Lay the chicken breasts, skin-side down, in a shallow glass or ceramic (not metal) baking dish. Stir the beer into the cider mixture, then pour over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for 4 to 8 hours.
When ready to grill, heat a gas or charcoal grill to to high heat (about 450-degrees). Meanwhile, transfer the chicken from the brine to a clean plate and let it rest, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes to take the chill off. Melt butter and stir in chili powder and cayenne.
Brush half the chili butter over the skin on each chicken breast and lay the breasts skin-side down on the grill. Cover and let cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts, taking care not to tear the skin, and brush with the remaining chili butter.
Cover and cook for another 10 minutes. Check the chicken for doneness, and if necessary, continue cooking in 5 minute increments until it has finished cooking. The chicken is done when the interior reaches 165°F, its juices run clear, and the inside is no longer pink.
Tent the chicken breasts with aluminum foil and let them rest 10 minutes before carving. The bones should pull away cleanly from the underside of the breasts with a little pressure. Slice the breasts into thin pieces and serve.

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