Serious Eats: Recipes

Cooking with Beer: Slow Cooker Rauchbier Pulled Chicken

[Photograph: Maggie Hoffman]

I have a few rules for entertaining. First, whatever I cook needs to multiply well. Giant pot of soup: easy. Giant assortment of individually-made pizzas? That's a little more labor-intensive. Dishes that feed a crowd and can also be prepared ahead of time are even better.

This faux-barbecue pulled chicken is far from authentic, but it's delicious.

This faux-barbecue pulled chicken is far from authentic, but it's delicious, easy to make, and perfect for advance prep. Throw everything in a six-quart slow cooker overnight, pull the meat in the morning, then refrigerate until your guests arrive. Heat it up when you're ready to eat.

We served it with cheesy scallion biscuits, but it would be awesome as a sandwich filling, on top of grits, or along with a big scoop of macaroni and cheese.

We used a smoky and spicy Märzen Rauchbier along with a can of chipotles in adobo to enhance the rich and smoky flavor of the sauce. If you haven't tasted this beer before, you're in for a surprise—it's a bit like drinking liquid bacon. Sweet apricot jam and tangy cider vinegar round out the cooking liquid.

Although we shredded the chipotles along with the chicken before serving, this isn't a particularly spicy dish, so you'll probably want to serve it with hot sauce on the side.

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