Take a mild Beer Cheese sauce, serve it with beer/garlic soaked pan fried chicken breasts, and this Creamy Beer Cheese Chicken With Crispy Bacon is ready in less than 20 minutes! Beer and cheddar cheese in a creamy sauce with bacon AND chicken? What’s not to love!
I’m probably talking goals of a few readers with that last sentence.
Guilty of loving Beer Cheese Sauce and Beer Cheese Soup just as much as the next person, I wanted to do a twist and come up with a way to serve it with pan fried chicken breasts — not ever forgetting the crispy bacon and chives that is normally served with either — and woah did this work or what!
The absolute best part is that the sauce is as lightened up as possible, using 2% milk rather than heavy cream to reduce calories since we’re talking beer in here. Of course, you can go full steam ahead and use heavy cream if you wish! Or even half and half. The choice is yours!
PLUS bacon? What in the WORLD! Talk about winning. You guys have been raving about this Creamy Honey Mustard Chicken With Bacon recipe, that adding bacon to THIS ONE was a no brainer. It seems to me that cheddar > bacon > chicken > beer = brilliant combination.
How to make Creamy Beer Cheese Chicken With Crispy Bacon, with No Heavy Cream:
- Start by marinading your chicken breasts in the most deliciously simple marinade: beer, garlic, salt and pepper. The beer adds so much flavour to this chicken that you don’t need to add much of anything else! (Just like in this Crispy Beer Chicken recipe). Now, if you don’t have time, a good 20 minute soak is enough time to have it absorb. Just pierce your chicken pieces all over with the tip of a sharp knife and allow a good soak for as long as you can. If time DOES allow, then try to let it sit over night in beer. You WON’T regret it.
- When ready to cook, drain your chicken and discard the marinade, then pan fry until nice and golden on both sides. I don’t bother drying it with paper towel before cooking, because I still want to get all that garlicky lager flavour into the chicken. Are you with me?
- Once you’ve made your sauce, you can add a little extra lager into it, or cheddar, or salt and pepper if you need to. I found salt wasn’t necessary as the cheddar provided enough salt, and the beer in this recipe was the perfect amount for us without the sauce becoming too bitter.
As always with savoury cooking, feel free to add your own spin on the recipe to suit your tastes.
Creamy Beer Cheese Chicken With Crispy Bacon
- 4 large boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 /2 cup (125 ml) lager
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cracked pepper
- 150 grams bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons butter, optional
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/4 cup milk (I use 2%, but you can use skim or full cream.)*
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) lager
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) good quality low sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable stock powder
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Dash of hot sauce
- 2/3 cup shredded Cheddar, (add more to suit your tastes)
- Salt and/or pepper to taste, if desired
- Combine lager, garlic, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Add in the chicken breasts, cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours if time allows, or over night for a deeper flavour.
- When ready to cook, take out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Heat skillet or pan over medium - high heat. Drain chicken from marinade and fry breasts in a small amount of oil until golden browned on both sides and completely cooked through the centre (about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts). Fry in batches of two if you need to.
- Transfer chicken to a warm plate.
- In the same pan, cook bacon until crisp, (about 6 minutes). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to let drain.
- To the remaining bacon fat in the pan, add the onion and celery, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. (If there is no remaining bacon fat, melt the butter in the pan instead). Then add garlic and cook until fragrant, (about 1 minute).
- Pour in the beer and allow to reduce slightly (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add in the flour and cook until golden, (about 3 minutes), then slowly add the stock, whisking until flour has combined with the liquid. Whisk in the the milk and let simmer, while whisking occasionally, until thickened.
- Stir in Worcestershire sauce, stock powder, mustard and hot sauce.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Mix until cheese has melted, then stir in 3/4 of the crumbled bacon. Taste test and add any extra salt, pepper, cheddar or beer.
- Arrange chicken back into the pan and allow to warm through. Garnish with chives or parsley and the remaining bacon.