Beer-Braised Barbecued Chicken

Labor Day is coming up, readers, so it’s time to cart out those summer recipes.  You know, the ones that use grills, corn on the cob, and fresh peaches.  The ones that make big portions perfect for feeding family and friends at backyard cookouts.

For some of you, Labor Day is a last hurrah for summertime.  You’re already noticing a change in the weather and you’re having thoughts of pumpkin, apple picking, sweaters, and big pots of chili.  I’m jealous.  (Although our momentary dip into double-digit highs was a welcome respite from the average temps around 100!)  I wish I lived somewhere that thought of summer as a three-month celebration of sun, sand, and ice cream.  Around here, summer lasts five or six months and it’s the time of year when it’s too hot to do anything outside.

Still, summer food is summer food.  And this chicken is bonafide all-American summer fare.  So get the grill going, call over all your favorite people, and celebrate summer, no matter if it’s ending or not!

Beer-Braised Barbecued Chicken

adapted from

printer-friendly recipe


4 TBSP canola oil

4 lbs. bone-in, skin on chicken breasts

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 yellow onions, sliced 1⁄4 in. thick

1 1⁄4 c. ale or lager-style beer

2 1⁄2 c. barbecue sauce 


1.  In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the oil until almost smoking.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

2.  Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter.

3.  Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the pan along with the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the beer and barbecue sauce and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a baking sheet and let cool.  (If you do not have a grill, increase time to 45 minutes and omit step five.)

4.  While chicken is cooling, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Pour the sauce into a shallow bowl and let cool to lukewarm.

5.  Preheat a grill on medium-high heat. Brush the chicken on both sides with some of the sauce. Grill the chicken until cooked trough, turning once and brushing occasionally with more sauce, until nicely grill-marked, about three minutes per side.

6.  Transfer the chicken to a platter and brush with more sauce.  Serves 4. 

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  1. Anonymous
    September 1, 2010 / 12:52 am

    Oh yum! I love recipes like this. A few simple ingredients and you've got something easy and delicious you can easily entertain with. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  2. Courtney
    September 1, 2010 / 1:36 am

    I'm always a fan of cooking with beer! This looks fantastic! 🙂

  3. "pup"
    September 7, 2010 / 3:03 am

    Looks delicious!!

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