Beer Pairing: Sweet and Sour Chicken

Welcome to the second edition of pairing food and beer! This recipe is compliments of my mumsie who threw a bunch of random things into a bowl and made delicious magic!

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Quinoa

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Serves 4-6
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time
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55 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Tender chunks of chicken and roasted vegetables are tossed together in a sweet and tangy marinade, completed with a side of light, fluffy quinoa.


  • 2lb chicken breast (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons gin
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 can chopped pineapple (drained, juice reserved)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup quinoa (rinsed)
  • 2 cups chicken broth


Step 1
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, gin, soy sauce, olive oil, onion, bell peppers, pineapple and pineapple juice. Stir well, cover and let marinate for 1-4 hours.
Step 2
With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables and chicken and spread one even layer on a cookie sheet covered with foil.
Step 3
Take the marinade and bring to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer until reduced by 1/3.
Step 4
Roast vegetables and chicken in an oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken is no longer pink inside.
Step 5
Remove the chicken from the trays and place in a bowl, covered to keep warm.
Step 6
Roast the vegetables until soft and golden – about 15 more minutes.
Step 7
Cook quinoa according to directions on package, substituting chicken broth for water.
Step 8
Serve everything together, drizzled with the marinade reduction.

Deliciousness marinating!
Spread in one layer so all the vegetables are cooked evenly.

This is a hearty, filling meal with a lovely tangy sweetness. I’d recommend pairing this dish with a rich nut brown ale or any other sweet malty beer to really emphasize the caramelized sugars that form as a crust on the pineapple after it’s baked in the oven. If possible, drink local!
Enegren Brewing’s Valkyrie California Alt – rich, malty and a smooth finish. The residual sugars in this match perfectly with the marinated chicken and vegetables.
Island Brewing Company’s Nut Brown Ale – this one is a little drier, but still has enough malty sweetness and roasty back-end to enhance the sweet marinade reduction. If you want to be blown away, throw a handful of roasted peanuts on top, combine with a nut brown and let your taste buds go crazy!

Some mainstream beers that would pair well with this dish:
Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale – rich malts and a toasted nutty finish with just a touch of hops.
Chimay Premiere (Red) – sweet dried fruits and a relatively dry end.
Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler – hints of chocolate and toasted nuts with medium high carbonation and light sweetness.

I’m sure there are plenty more! If you make this, share your beer pairing choices!


Filed under beer pairing, recipe

4 Responses to Beer Pairing: Sweet and Sour Chicken

  1. michel

    Is a porter the same thing as stout? Or is there a difference?

    • Stouts use roasted barley (but so do a few porters) and are darker on the SRM scale. Porters are still dark, but generally stay closer to the dark brown range and tend to end a bit sweeter. They used to call heavier ABV porters “stout porters”, and then eventually just called them “stouts”.

  2. This recipe sounds delish. Another cahnge up that could be fun is to bread the chicken after the marinated and then grill it. It will add some smoky flavors that will compliment the roasted barley in the Nut Brown and allow the sauce to soak into the breaded part.
    I can’t wait to try it out. Great idea to pair the sweet and sour dish with the Nut Brown.

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