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Jul 8, 2009

Summer means beer!

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps

From the National Beer Wholesalers Association in Alexandria, Virginia comes this press release with two fun recipes just perfect for summer:

To give your cooking an international twist or ethnic flair, look to a surprise ingredient to enhance worldly flavors: Beer. With so many varieties and styles of beer available today, it’s easy to find one to complement any type of cuisine. The sweet-and-sour of Asian dishes; the exotic spicing of Middle Eastern cooking; or the sharp garlic, onions and herbs popular in Mediterranean cuisine can all be deepened by adding a splash of beer to the mix.

Here are two new dishes (recipes follow, below) that use beer to enhance popular and familiar international flavors. Both are perfect as a light, summer entrée.
  • Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lime-Flavored Lager Dressing beats the summer heat by combining the coolness of Boston lettuce leaves with the tang of lime-and-spicy chopped chicken.
  • Pale Ale Beer Greek Chicken offers the popular flavors of the Mediterranean.
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Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Lager-Lime Dressing
Serves 4

2 bottles (12 oz) Lime-flavored Lager Beer
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced thickly
2 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
2/3 cup shredded carrots
½ cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
¼ cup chopped scallions
1/3 cup Thai sweet chili sauce
3 TBLS fresh lime juice
1 ½ TBLS low-sodium soy sauce
2 heads Boston lettuce, washed and separated into leaves
  1. In a large sauce pan or Dutch oven, bring beer to a boil over high heat (it will foam up). As foam subsides, add shallots and then chicken thigh meat; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer about one hour, or until chicken is tender.
  2. Remove chicken, place on a cutting board and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup of the poaching liquid.
  3. When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized shreds. Place in a large bowl and toss with reserved poaching liquid. Add carrots, mint cucumber and scallions; toss to combine. Whisk together Thai sweet chili sauce, lime juice and soy sauce; pour over chicken mixture and toss well.
  4. To serve, place a large spoonful of meat on an open lettuce leaf. Fold lettuce over and eat as a wrap.
Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
400 calories; 17 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 12 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 5 g sugars; 43 g protein


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Pale Ale Beer Greek Chicken
Serves 4

1 TBLS Greek seasoning
4 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
1 TBLS olive oil
1 bottle (12 oz) Pale Ale Beer
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, drained
1/3 cup pitted green olives
1 TBLS fresh chopped oregano leaves
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

  1. Rub Greek seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts. In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add chicken and sear until lightly browned, about five minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
  2. Pour the Pale Ale Beer into the skillet and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil (it will foam up); boil until beer is reduced to 1/3 cup, about seven minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes, olives and oregano and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Return chicken breasts to the skillet. Lower heat to medium and continue to simmer the chicken, uncovered for five minutes, spooning tomato mixture over the chicken breasts several times. Scatter feta over the chicken and in the sauce, cover and cook two minutes longer or until feta has softened and partially melted and the sauce has thickened.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a platter to serve. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs.
Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
340 calories; 13 g fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 10 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 38 g protein
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