For years I passed on the Belgian beers but have lately found a real liking for them. Brewery Ommegang brews the most traditional Belgian styles out of any American brewery. Each and every one that I taste, I just can’t believe that I passed on these beers for so long. Hennepin, which is a Farmhouse Saison, would have to be my favorite Belgian thus far. Rare Vos though, is battling for that position tonight. Just incredible, you can almost taste the history in these beers. With a pile of complexity, Rare Vos, just tastes like perfection. Given it’s style, Amber Ale, it has a hefty, malt flavor, followed by a crisp hop bitterness. There is so much more happening in this beer, with the floral notes in the hops, the citrus aroma and the sharp CO2 that nails the tongue. I began to think as I prepared dinner that I may have paired this beer with the wrong dish. Now, I have a more or less Beauty and the Beast pairing tonight, a beautiful beer such as Rare Vos with just a simple chicken sandwich. I suppose the sandwich is more complex than that. Most would probably imagine this beer with something far more high society, but this is Barleydine, common food and excellent beer. Tonight’s sandwich was a real twist on a Honey Mustard Panini sandwich, it was so complex and layered with flavor much like the beer. The beer seemed at times to match perfectly and then the dynamics seemed to change and the match didn’t seem so right. The Honey Mustard sauce was just the right amount of spice for the hops, the sauce also lent itself well to the citrus aroma and orange flavor. There is a powerful yeasty overtone, it adds so much to the beer, to the flavor and aroma, just perfect. The malt flavors matched the chicken well, given it was prepared with a savory sauce. I must say, this was  remarkable pairing this evening. I will definitely be sure to whip this up again, besides it’s a great excuse for a Rare Vos. Though, this beer is so great, one needs no excuse to enjoy such a beauty. Read on for the dinner preparation.

   Preparing the chicken for this sandwich is quite simple. As I’ve mentioned before, I purchase large bags of frozen tenderloin at the store to keep around the house. Earlier in the day I pulled out 6 tenderloins to give them time to thaw. When your all set to cook, pour some olive oil in the pan on medium high heat. Slice your chicken and add to the warmed pan. Sautee, cooking on all sides and cut back the heat once the chicken begins to brown. At this time add your honey mustard. Now, you can make your own, I buy mine, we have a favorite at the store (Dinosaurs Creole Honey Mustard). Just look around till you find a honey mustard sauce that you really like. Add enough sauce that you coat the chicken and have a small pool in the pan. Let the pan simmer to reduce the sauce, chicken is then ready. 
   Tonight we used our new favorite bread, an extreme flat bread. It’s great, your sandwich does not end up being all bun. The sky is the limit for this part of the meal, you can add all those things you love and those you don’t. Our sandwiches consisted of feta cheese, provolone cheese and cherry tomatoes. Once all the ingredients were added to the bread, we loaded them into a panini press and cooked till golden brown. 
   This is a super easy meal that you can add just about any side dish to. Be sure though to enjoy a Rare Vos with your Honey Mustard sandwich, it will be incredible!
   Chicken = 9-13 minutes
   Sandwich = 8-10 minutes
beer + food = barleydine


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