Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to make a glaze for chicken or fish using Founders Better Half Old Ale

Written by  Ryan Ranspach
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How to make a glaze for chicken or fish using Founders Better Half Old Ale

It's officially Springtime in Michigan now, and that means we're headed into grilling season. Personally, I don't think there are many better ways to spend time than having some friends over for a few beers and throwing some meat on the grill. Grilling is the most ancient and utilitarian of the culinary arts--kill, dress, put to flame; so I'm always looking for ways to enhance or alter the experience. Whether it be grilling different vegetables and fruits, or even a whipping up a new marinade for chicken or steaks--it's just fun trying new things when you're grilling.
How to make a glaze for chicken or fish using Founders Better Half Old AleI like doing reductions, or "glazes" as they're also called. It is a long, and at the end of it, tricky process. But, when they turn out, glazes can really be a nice addition to your food, and they are especially good to use as marinades or sauces for grilling. I thought I would try making a glaze out of a small amount of the Old Curmudgeon Better Half Old Ale, a limited release beer from Founders Brewing.

This beer is brewed with molasses and aged in bourbon barrels, so there is a lot of potential for reducing it down to something delicious. You could make a nice glaze with any malty beer that also has some sugar in it, but I just had an extra bottle of this and wanted to try it. I can't stress it enough though, after you you strain it the first time and continue reducing, KEEP a close eye on it! It will be liquid and then suddenly it will be a sticky glaze. If you continue cooking beyond this point it will burn and turn very bitter and you will have wasted an hour of your time and some pretty expensive beer. Here's what you'll need, and again, you can use any kind of old ale or porter that you have and reach a similar result.


  • Cup Old Curmudgeon Better Half Old Ale from Founders Brewing
  • 3 Cups Chicken Stock (Low sodium version. If you use something very salty, the glaze will be even more salty)
  • 1 tablespoon light maple sugar
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of granulated garlic
  • Sea Salt to taste (only if it needs it during second reduction)

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. As the stock simmers, you may see scum or other impurities rise to the surface. Skim these impurities off with a ladle. About a half hour on this.

Once the stock has reduced by a little over half, pour it through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth into smaller pot. Lower the heat a bit and continue reducing, skimming as needed.

Watch for the glaze to turn about 15-20 minutes into the second reduction. The glace is finished when the liquid has reduced by about three fourths and the glaze is thick and syrupy; STOP cooking it at this point. When you stir it, the glaze should coat the back of your spoon.

Let cool and transfer to a fridge safe container. Use as glaze or incorporate into a marinade mixture for chicken or fish.