Making fried chicken is easy. Making good fried chicken—now that’s a bit more of a challenge. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been experiencing a lot of tasty fried chicken, mostly in sandwich form (try Woodinville, Wash.-based restaurant the Hollywood Tavern’s fried chicken sandwich, and while you’re at it, order a side of buttermilk fried pickles for good measure). Naturally, I wanted to recreate the southern flavors I’ve been enjoying in my own kitchen. And, the secret ingredient is, of course, beer. Try using Fremont Brewing’s flagship beer: Universale Pale Ale. The flavors of malt and hops found in this Seattle brewery’s ale complement the bready batter used in this recipe for country-style fried chicken.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: approximately 10 minutes

Serves: 4 (or more, depending on the size of each chicken breast)

Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, butterflied
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups panko bread crumbs
3 eggs
¾ cup Fremont Brewing Universale Pale Ale
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
oil for deep frying (the amount needed will vary based on the size pot you use)

Directions:

Butterfly each chicken breast. You can do this yourself, or, save time by asking your local butcher.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and beer. Place chicken in bowl so that each piece is well coated. While the chicken soaks in the egg-beer mixture, in another bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. You can substitute the salt and pepper for three teaspoons of your favorite chicken rub.

Coat chicken in dry mixture, then repeat process again (dip chicken in the egg-beer mixture and back into the dry mixture to get a double coating).

In a large pot (with tall sides to avoid splatter) heat up enough oil to submerge the chicken. The oil will be ready once it has almost reached the smoking point.

Dip each piece of chicken, one at a time, into the oil and cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of chicken).

You can use this chicken to make a great sandwich (I recommend using a toasted roll, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a honey mustard dressing), or, serve alongside your favorite country-style sides.