A couple of years ago, I saw an episode of a show on the Food Network called The Thirsty Traveler. On it, the host had traveled to Alaska, and the show focused on Alaskan Ales. At the end of the show, just like every episode, there was a recipe that used the beer that the show was devoted to. The recipe was for a salmon marinade, and I tried it out. It was excellent, but I have since adapted and used it for chicken. The result? Some awesome flippin' chicken.
The first time I tried it out on somebody other than my wife and I was when my in-laws were over and I was BBQing some chicken. My in-laws...well, let's just say that their tastes are somewhat "conservative". So, I basically just made chicken with barbecue sauce, but I also made half a chicken with my marinade. My father-in-law gave it a try and declared that he liked it more than the chicken with the barbecue sauce (and I was using the same brand that he uses - Sweet Baby Ray's).
I then made it for my mother and her boyfriend when they came to visit. My mother's boyfriend completely cleaned off every bone that he ate, and my mom raved about it as well. I have since tried it out on various friends and coworkers - all of whom have enjoyed it tremendously. About a week ago, Kirsti and I went to one of her coworkers house for dinner. I brought my chicken (raw and in the marinade) and they grilled it up. Yet again, it was a success. One of them claimed that she wasn't a very big meat eater, but she ate about two and half thighs.
And last night, we had company yet again, and the same thing happened. People love this stuff - and no wonder, it's awesome.
So, how the hell do you make it?
First off, while it's good with any part of the chicken, I really recommend using thighs. Something about them just absorbs the flavor more.
Anyway, you start off with a 12 oz. bottle of beer - and this is important, it's best if it's an amber-colored beer. Basically, you want something slightly sweet and very malty. While I usually use my homebrew, I've made successful batches with Samuel Adams Boston Lager. I'd imagine that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale would work nicely as well.
Then you want some soy sauce. I don't measure anything, but I guess I use about a third as much soy sauce as I use beer. Oh, I also use a low-sodium soy sauce. If you're using the regular stuff, you might want to use less, as you don't want it all to have too salty of a taste.
Mix in some grated ginger, chopped cilantro, and crushed garlic. (Lately, I've been tossing all of that in the food processer - it works nicely). Then add some olive oil and marinate the chicken overnight. Lastly, grill it up. Bitchin' chicken!
And here's a bonus recipe! A friend of mine did a variation on that recipe and praised the results. So, I did a variation on his variation. It's the same thing, only delete the cilantro and garlic and add lime juice (about five limes) and habaneros (I use four - hot enough to notice, but not so hot as to ruin the taste). I made this one the last couple of times along with the usual recipe, and this one got rave reviews as well.
So, make the stuff. I don't invite people over enough for you to just wait around for a visit to my house.