My husband Jack will readily tell you that he has never been much of a beer drinker – usually preferring a glass of wine, or a mixed drink over a bottle of beer when we’d go out together. But earlier this year, some of the guys in our neighborhood started bringing Blue Moon’s Belgian White beer to our get-togethers and suddenly – Jack became a beer drinker himself!
Blue Moon is a mild, sweet Belgian-Style Wheat Ale with a subtle orange citrus flavor and aroma. (I have to admit – it’s now my favorite beer too!) So with a six-pack of Blue Moon in our refrigerator, Jack decided to get creative and he made this fantastic Blue Moon Chicken!
This Blue Moon Chicken uses the beer as a brine before cooking, as well as a major ingredient in the rich, luscious sauce that gets spooned over the chicken when it’s served.
The beer is combined with soy sauce, scallions, orange and honey – all flavors that wonderfully complement the pale, orange-infused ale.
If time is tight, you can skip the brining step and simply brown and cook the Blue Moon Chicken according to the directions below. (But the brine does give the chicken more flavor and more tenderness.) But whatever you do – don’t skimp on that delicious, rich Blue Moon sauce. It is fantastic!
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For the Brine
- 1 12-ounce bottle Blue Moon Belgian White beer
- 1 cup orange juice
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 whole scallions, roughly chopped
- 4 whole peppercorns
- 4–5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (aka split breasts)
For the Sauce
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped scallions, about one large bunch or two small (separate tops from bottoms)
- 1 cup Blue Moon Belgian White beer
- Juice from two large navel oranges (approximately one cup)
- Zest from one orange
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
- Place chicken breasts on a cutting board skin-side up, and with the palm of your hand, press down. You want the chicken to be an even thickness so if the ribs crack, that is OK. This step assures even cooking but is optional.
- If brining, place all brine ingredients with chicken in one or two gallon zip lock bags and brine for eight hours or overnight refrigerated.
- One hour before serving, remove chicken from brine and discard brine. Rinse chicken then pat dry with paper towels.
- If not brining, continue here with recipe.
- Heat a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat and add two tablespoons of oil. Once smoking hot, place dry chicken skin down into pan, (be careful of splattering). You will need to do this in batches. Cook the skin side only for 3-4 minutes until the skin is browned and crispy. Remove to a platter.
- Reduce heat to medium and the remaining one tablespoon of oil and the scallion bottoms. Cook just for one minute.
- Add the beer to the pan to deglaze. Reduce by two thirds.
- Add orange juice, zest, soy and honey and heat to combine.
- Add all chicken back in skin side up and spoon a little juice over each piece.
- Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook ten minutes, remove cover and turn each piece so skin now faces down. Cover and cook for ten more minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and if at 150 degrees F, remove chicken to a platter where it will continue to cook to 160 degrees F. If not, continue to cook until the temperature reaches 150 degrees F then remove to a platter. Depending on how large your chicken breast are, this may take more or less time.
- Heat liquid over medium high heat and cook to reduce by one third.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cold butter with a whisk.
- To serve, place sauce over each breast and finish with chopped scallion tops.
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