Getting ready to entertain the crowds on Super Bowl Sunday? Here is a recipe, with a little Canton flavor, that is sure to delight the crowds.
Blue Hills Brewery's Beer Bread Chicken
By Dane Tullock, BHB Intern, Chef and Blogger on greatoutdoorscooking.net
½ cup of your favorite Micro-brew (In this case Antimatter Single Malt Ale from Blue Hills Brewery)
½ cup warm water
1 ½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper & sea salt
1 ¼ Tablespoon unrefined sugar
3 ¾ cups bread flour
2-¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 16oz bottle of India Pale Ale (IPA) from Blue Hills Brewery.
3 cloves garlic (finely diced)
½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper & sea salt
1 lb prosciutto sliced thickly
3 whole poblano peppers
1 – 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 whole bay leaves
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 lbs white meat chicken (whole or partial breasts with skin removed)
1 Tablespoon sweet maple vinegar
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 cups Big Ed Swiss cheese, grated
This recipe takes a bit a prep ahead of time, but is completely worth the effort come game time at your next Super Bowl party. At least 24 hours before you plan to serve your creation to guests, you will need to start preparing the marinade for the chicken and the bread dough. These components will need time to sit and soak up the flavors of the beer you plan to use. The single most important ingredient in this recipe is the beer. Don’t skimp and use your normal “weekend ball game” pilsner. Choose brews that boast unique flavors. The extra effort, and cost, will pay off in the long run.
Begin by mixing the bread ingredients in the order that they are listed above in a bowl or bread maker. Once all the bread dough is fully mixed and kneaded, let it sit in the open bowl for at least one hour at room temperature. Once the dough has had an hour to rest, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rise until needed the next day. Be sure that there is plenty of space in the bowl beneath the plastic wrap for the bread to rise at least 2”.
Once you are done with the dough, remove your chicken from the refrigerator. Depending on if you have whole chicken breasts or pre-cut pieces, slice the meat into fairly thin strips no more than 2-3” wide and 6” long. Place these strips on a cutting board (be sure to use a board that is dedicated for meats) and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat tenderizing mallet, pound the chicken until it is uniform in thickness (approximately ¼ inches.)
Once all the chicken has been prepped in this manner, place in a metal or glass mixing bowl and add the beer, lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and garlic. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight. The longer the meat is allowed to soak in the marinade, the better it will taste when cooked.
To prepare the prosciutto, heat oil over medium heat. Separate the individual prosciutto slices and place each individually, one at a time, into the hot oil. These do not take long too cook, so keep a close eye on them and remove after about 60 – 90 seconds. Set the cooked prosciutto on a drying rack covered with a paper towel to cool and dry. Once all the prosciutto has been fried and cooled, crush using your hands until the pieces are of uniform size. Store in a Tupperware container with a paper towel at room temperature for use the following day.
About three hours prior to your planned serving, remove the prepared dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature to warm up. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F and pre-treat several cooking pans with Crisco or other shortening.
Once the oven reaches 425 degrees, place the poblano pepper in a shallow Pyrex or metal pan and cook until the skin begins to turn dark and separate from the “meat” of the pepper. Removed the peppers from the oven and place directly into a cold-water bath to shock them and loosen up the skin.
Once peppers have fully cooled, remove the skin and steams, being sure to retain the seeds (you want some spice for this dish). Chop the peppers (with the seeds included) and set aside.
Prepare a wide, shallow saucepan by placing over medium heat and adding a little olive oil, 1 Tbsp of cold butter and the chopped garlic. Continue to heat ingredients while stirring frequently until garlic is a light golden brown. Add the red onions and bay leaves and cook until opaque and the liquid is mostly reduced. Add chopped cilantro and cook for an additional minute. Transfer contents of pan to a bowl to allow cooling.
Drain marinated chicken, being sure to retain the marinade. Add about ½ cup of the marinade to the hot saucepan that you used to cook the garlic and onions. Add drained chicken to saucepan and cook thoroughly until golden brown, supplementing additional marinade sparingly if needed to keep meat from getting dry. Once chicken is fully cooked, add the maple vinegar and chopped dill and cook for another 2-3 minutes until all liquid is reduced. Remove chicken to a bowl to cool. Once cooled, pull chicken apart with your fingers so that it is in very thin strips (think pulled pork.)
Take the beer bread dough that has been sitting at room temperature and place onto a smooth surface that you have coated with a light dusting of unbleached flour. Using an elliptical rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is uniformly about 1/8” thick. Use care not to roll dough too thin and repair any breaks that may occur. Slice the dough into 4” – 5” squares. Place a small portion of chicken (about as much as will fit comfortably in the palm of your hand) on each square of dough, making sure to leave about an inch of uncovered dough around all edges. Add equal portions of the onion mixture, chopped poblano peppers and fried prosciutto that we prepared the previous day to each square. Top with the Big Ed Swiss cheese.
Wrap the corners of each dough square in to cover the stuffing, using an egg wash to seal the joints if necessary. Place the closed dough pockets onto the baking pans that you prepped with shortening and place into the oven at 425 degrees F to bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. I like to melt a little extra butter and brush onto the dough pockets when almost fully cooked to give them a nice dark golden brown color. When done, remove the dough pockets from the oven and let cool.