Pale Ale & (Cold) Roast Chicken

beer and chx

There’s not really a season to roasting meats, but I do always crave the coziness of a whole roast bird in the cooler months. Holidays aside, it’s a super satisfying way to heat your kitchen up, infuse it with delicious aromas, and have a great feast of a meal. And the bonus, unless you happen to have a very large family, is the leftovers! Cold roast chicken is becoming a favorite of mine. You can dress it up or keep it simple. So what’s my beverage of choice with these divine leftovers? A solid American pale ale. One with a light body, bright, citrusy or piney hops, balanced–not so much an IPA with training wheels on type of pale or a fruit punch type of pale (though experiment on your own!)

Three Reasons This Pairing Works

1. One of the most common flavors paired with roast chicken? Lemon. I’m sure we can all agree it’s a great match. If your pale ale has notes of citrus (lemon perhaps, but more likely a light orange or grapefruit) it will work for the same reasons. Yum.

beer and chicken

2. The beer’s light nutty notes from the pale malt complement chicken’s light flavors. Pair like with like for a good starting point in any meal!

3. Roast chicken with the skin on has a great earthy taste–especially the darker meat (and even more if you can find a free-range hen). This earthiness sets off the light sweetness from the pale ale’s malt backbone, making the beer even more drinkable.

I hope you’re enjoying the fall and winter season so far. Cheers to all the future flavor combinations and pairings it might bring!