Beer Pairing: Bite Me Chicken Stew

Good afternoon! I’ve decided to start a little series about pairing different styles of beer with food –  partially in preparation for the Cicerone test, and partially because every single type of meal can be brought to another level when combined with the right style of beer. I’ll try to post a new pairing every week and if you have any questions, recommendations or requests, feel free to write them down in the comments!

Yesterday I was feeling a little under the weather and was craving something warm with a spicy “bite”, so I threw a bunch of random foodstuffs from my cupboards into a pot and came up with:

Bite Me Chicken and Brown Rice Stew

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Serves 6-8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time
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50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish, Soup
Wonderfully hearty stew with a spicy bite on the end, balanced by creamy avocado and tangy lime juice.


  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can diced green chiles (4 ounces)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 box Rice-A-Roni Spanish Brown Rice (Plus half of the spice packet)
  • 2/3 cups frozen or fresh corn
  • 1 avocado (cubed)
  • The juice of one lime


Step 1
Bring the chicken stock to a boil.
Step 2
Add the green chiles, tomatoes, Rice-A-Roni and 1/2 the spice packet and reduce to a simmer.
Step 3
Let it simmer for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally then add the corn.
Step 4
Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Step 5
Remove from heat, garnish with avocado and sprinkle with lime juice to taste.

If you’d like, you can even make your own chicken stock for this recipe, which is what I did.

Homemade Chicken Stock

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Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time
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3 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Soup
Simple chicken stock to add to any soup.


  • Remnants of a baked chicken, bones and all
  • 6 cups cold water
  • 4 carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1-3 teaspoon flaked red pepper (depending on desire of spice)


Step 1
Place the chicken in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil.
Step 2
In a pan, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent (about 7 minutes).
Step 3
Add the onion, garlic, carrots, salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes to the pot and let simmer for 1 to 3 hours.
Step 4
Remove the chicken bones, keeping as much meat in as possible and bring stock to a boil.

Continue with the Bite Me Chicken and Brown Rice Stew recipe above.
I decided to pair this wonderfully spicy stew with Uinta’s Cutthroat Pale Ale (I’d recommend either a pale ale or an IPA for this soup). The pale ale has just a hint of a bitter backend to enhance the spicy bite that rounds out the edges of the stew, but enough of a light graininess so as to not compete with the flavors. The caramel malts that grace your palate at the end of the sip brings out the sweetness of the corn and tender chicken. If you want to really suffer (in a good way), pair this with a seriously hoppy IPA like Dogfish Head 90 Minute or another dry pale ale. The hops will make the spice even more pronounced and clear your head of any congestion, guaranteed.

Other pale ale pairing recommendations:
– Fish ‘n chips – crisp hops help to cut through the grease
– Grilled/broiled halibut – dry pale ale doesn’t overwhelm the delicate flavors of white fish
– Gumbo – hops bring out the spices while chilling the afterburn at the same time
– Sushi – light flavors in pale ale add a sweet complexity that pairs well with the vinegar-graced sushi rice
– Anything fried, spicy, or seafood of any kind
– Pale ales with higher IBUs are good for dishes like roast beef or pork roasts to bring out the sweetness of the meats

Any other food pairings you’ve tried with pale ale that you’d like to recommend?


Filed under beer pairing, recipe

3 Responses to Beer Pairing: Bite Me Chicken Stew

  1. NF

    Spicy cioppino (crab, bay scallops, halibut, littlenecks, mussels, a little fennel to get crazy, you get the picture) with Racer 5. The smooth hoppiness with a little fruitiness at the end of the beer pair amazeballs with the strong seafood and pepper flavor of the soup. Great, now I just made myself hungry and thirsty. Good thing it’s dungeness season!

  2. This is so timely for me! I’m going to a beer pairing party in a few weeks and need to bring 2 small dishes. I’m thinking of short ribs slow cooked in Guinness for one… but one diner is vegetarian, so I’m not sure if I want to go with that. I’ll be looking to you for some ideas!
    (and thanks for the whole list of IPA pairings!!)
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted..One big crazy Friday: Part 1 (+ super protein muffin bowl for the win!)

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