Cooking with beer: Odell IPA ???Hop On??? Chicken

September 6, 2011


All in all, it was a decent Labor Day weekend. I had kind of meant to go to the Minnesota State Fair. The weather was perfect with highs barely reaching 70°F/20°C, but I ended up doing a lot of cooking instead. My favorite vegetables have come into season at the Nicollet Mall farmers market—zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, red bell peppers–and for each of the last two weeks, I’ve bought far too much. So I must cook it all up into tasty dishes. Today’s tofu zucchini stroganoff was okay at best, but last night’s dinner rated an A+.

For most of the week I had been trying to finish the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix audiobook so that I could watch the movie at the weekend. Didn’t quite make it after falling asleep on it twice, but I got to the last chapter and I’ve come to learn that the main action is usually concluded by the second or third to last chapter so I decided not to worry about it.

Also for most of the week, I had been chomping at the bit to make the Odell IPA “Hop On” Chicken recipe that they posted. As you may recall, I tried making the Double Pilsner bread substituting whole wheat flour (with baking powder and salt) for white self-rising flour. The flavor if not the density was good, so I was excited to try another beer recipe.


To make use of a lot of the vegetables, I found a recipe for Italian Stuffed Eggplant from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Low-Fat Way to Cook (Oxmoor House, 1993, p. 126). I adapted it to use lentils instead of brown rice, and feta cheese instead of mozzarella.


The eggplants went into the oven to heat through and I set to work on the chicken.


I assembled those ingredients. This was the first chance I had to practice what I would like to be my new meat-buying philosophy after seeing the Wikipedia article about that horrible Smithfield pork producer. I don’t mind eating animals but I decided that I’d at least go to the co-op for more humanely raised meat. The chicken breasts were about three times more expensive but I think it was worth it.


I had gotten the chicken marinating the afternoon before, so they ended up marinating for 24 hours. I only got three breasts (or breast halves, I guess) because they were giant, and cut each of those in half.


I used my grill pan. I wanted to sear both sides before I left the chicken cooking. The pieces were thick, I think it ended up being about 20 minutes.


The eggplant halves came out of the oven looking perfect.


The chicken grilled up in the pan and came out looking perfect.

But more importantly, this was one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever made for myself! I put in the Harry Potter movie, poured one of the remaining Odell IPAs and had a very enjoyable date night for one. Who needs a restaurant?


IPA “Hop On” Chicken 

Odell IPA – 12oz bottle
Boneless/skinless Chicken Breasts – 4
Dijon Mustard – 3 tbsp.
Brown Sugar – 3 tbsp.
Olive Oil – 3 tbsp.
Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp.
Hot Sauce – 1 tsp.
Kosher Salt – 1 tsp.
Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp.

Pour over chicken. Marinate in fridge for 8 hours. Grill or bake chicken as desired.


Lentil Stuffed Eggplant

2 medium eggplants
Vegetable cooking spray
1-1/4 cups chopped onion
1-1/4 cups diced zucchini
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped red pepper*
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped tomato
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup cooked lentils*
4 ounces feta cheese, diced*
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese*
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Wash eggplants; cut each in half lengthwise. Carefully remove pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. (Pro tip: a grapefruit knife is a great tool for accomplishing this.) Chop pulp, reserving 2 cups. (Reserve remaining pulp for other uses.) Set eggplant shells aside.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add onion and next 4 ingredients; sauté until tender. Stir in 2 cups reserved eggplant, tomato, and tomato sauce. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from hear; stir in lentils*, feta cheese*, and Italian seasoning.

Place eggplant shells in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly into shells. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15* minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese*; bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

*Alterations to original recipe, which is pictured below.


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