Boozy Burgers and Plastered Poultry

Because it’s just BF and I in our apartment, our wine tends to skunk fast.  We each have one glass with dinner one night and then the bottle goes forgotten until its contents are no longer drinkable.  Which is a bummer!  However, cooking with skunky (or non-skunky, for that matter) wine is a great way to get mileage out of whatever wine you’ve got around the house.  Everybody knows the classic recipes that feature alcohol in some way: cherries jubilee, vodka sauce, etc.  But alcohol can be a great way to add flavor to a lot of other options too!  And it turns out alcohol is a GREAT GREAT GREAT way to roast meat!

Last fall I stumbled across a recipe that called for roasting chicken in white wine.  Since I’m always looking for recipes that keep chicken from drying out, I bookmarked it and then proceeded to neglect it.  But pretty soon I had half a bottle of skunked wine on my hands, and rather than toss it I decided to give that wine-roasting a go.  It was delicious!  The chicken was SO moist and flavorful, which is a real miracle when you’re trying to roast skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

so I guess this one's technically a thigh and not a breast.  But I promise it works for breasts too!

So I guess this one’s technically a thigh and not a skinless breast. But I promise it works for breasts too!

Since then I’ve experimented with roasting with beers as well, and it always brings the same result: incredibly moist chicken that has just a hint of the flavor of whatever booze you use.  All of the alcohol burns off during the roasting process but a little flavor is left behind, so if you have a favorite beer or wine that you particularly enjoy, chances are it’ll make a great roasting agent too (that is, if you have any around that you don’t want to drink)!  Any white wine is always a reliable option, but BF and I both really liked the chicken I roasted in Founders Breakfast Stout as well.  It’s a double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout, and it delivers a great, unique flavor.  It doesn’t hurt that the label’s pretty cute, too (though I somehow doubt that baby is slurping up Founders stout itself– at least I hope not!):

I never roast chicken withOUT some kind of alcohol now, but it never occurred to me to use it in a hamburger until I saw this Red Wine Burger recipe a few days ago.  HOW GOOD DOES THAT SOUND???  I’ll tell you, it sounds almost as good as it tastes.

It’s not very often that I make a recipe exactly as written (unless it’s a baking project), but I came about as close as I get on this one.  I didn’t do bacon because I was too lazy to make it, and I used white onion because that’s what I had on hand.  The recipe says it makes four burgers but I ended up with six, so if your buns are on the smaller side you’ll probably get a bit more mileage from this recipe.

The only photo I took before they all disappeared-- oops!

The only photo I took before they all disappeared– oops!

This is the first hamburger recipe I’ve made since I moved to DC a year ago, and it was worth the wait.  I very rarely eat red meat, but oh my goodness these were good!  They were moist and had an incredibly rich flavor– the perfect meal to pair with the All-Star game last night (Prince Fielder is adorable, by the way.  His little slide)!  It’s hard not to get jealous of the flavor grill owners can access this time of year, but these burgers definitely ease the pain.  You gotta try em!

Given the leaps and bounds by which alcohol improves both chicken and hamburgers, I’m going to just assume it does the same for all food and start experimenting.  I’ll be sure to let you know how my Beerios taste tomorrow morning!