It’s not always the case that I put a lot of planning into what the wife and I will eat for dinner. Tonight was one of those nights. It was time to cook, so I grabbed a beer, hit the fridge and threw a few things together. Voila, dinner was served. When I cook, I love to have a beer there with me and tonight was no different, as I drank more ideas of how to prepare dinner came to me. It’s great, the beer steps in as my trusty assistant. The addition of bacon to the chicken was a product of my “no worries, have a beer method.” Lot’s of times, what I cook is a rendition of something I may have eaten at a restaurant or seen on tv. I have a blast doing my version of these dishes, much like a band would cover some Beatles or Dead, with a bit of their own twist to it. Tonights beer inspired the sandwich creation, which was heavily laden with flavors. Good thing I had a beer that could easily march in and cut the heavy flavors.

Tonight I whipped up a bacon and chicken melt. Perhaps even a chicken cheesesteak with bacon. It’s topped with green leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes, cheddar cheese and a slather of mayonaise. It’s a robust mouth full of flavors, so it needs a beer that’s just as robust. Like always I ended up in the basement, glancing over the beer collection, emerging with a Magic Hat Roxy Rolles. This is a very well rounded Amber Ale that matches tonights meal very well. Just the right amount of hops and malts, carries the flavors of the food to a superb finish. The beginning notes march in with a bit of malt sweetness that marry themselves very well to the caramelized flavors on the sauteed chicken. The carbonation slices directly through the bacon fat, helping the meat flavors to land every so sweetly on the tongue. The bitterness helps to carry the spiciness of black pepper and cajun spices through to a quick finish. It was a great TV meal, sit down with a beer, a sloppy sandwich and some tv. This is a must try for all.
This is a very simple meal to prepare, it takes very little time and satisfies that insatiable pang for a fatty, sloppy sandwich. Now, I keep chicken and bacon in the freezer at all times. They are staples at my house and I’m using one or the other, or both all the time. To start, get a pan rolling with some olive oil, let the pan heat up a bit before throwing the chicken in. Saute until a medium brown, this caramelizies the chicken, which will match the malt sweetness of the beer perfectly. Now, you’ve all read about how I prepare bacon, I use a large cookie sheet with an elevated rack, that keeps the bacon out of the fate. I prefer to use the oven to cook bacon, it’s uniform and even, and one less pan to watch on the stove. Try to time your bacon to finish when the chicken finishes, but if the timing doesn’t work out, just plan for the bacon to finish first. Once the meat is cooked, your ready to assemble, some of which, I prepare while the proteins cook. Slather your Italian Roll with a bit of mayo, some sliced grape tomatoes and some shredded lettuce. Be generous with the chicken, I like a full sandwich, lay on several slices of bacon and top with thick sliced cheddar cheese. Not the processed junk, get the real stuff. Once the sandwich is assembled slide it into the broiler on low, giving it just enough time to melt the cheese and brown the roll just slightly. I enjoy frittes or fries with my sandwiches, but I bake my fries. Look further into Barleydine for instructions on baking the fries. Baked fries are so much more flavorful in my opinion, given the flavor of spices are not in competition with the fried fatty flavors. A nice Amber Ale will match perfectly to all the flavors of this meal, cutting fat, matching spices and marrying with the caramelized sugars.
beer + food = Barleydine
….watch for the rest of this pairing. beer + food = Barleydine

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