BBQ sauce is one of the greatest creations ever, although many would argue beer tops that chart. So to be thorough I’ve combined both into one dish. I had a craving for BBQ chicken this week and chicken breasts happened to be on sale – perfect. Shredded chicken soaks up a lot of sauce which translates to happier tongues but shredding such a lean meat can be difficult. Poaching is a great option because the meat is submersed in liquid throughout the cooking process. Water works as the poaching liquid but leaves the meat fairly tasteless – this is where the beer comes in. Don’t think of this as a waste of beer, think of it as yet another use for the glorious beverage! To be extra thorough, I used a BBQ sauce made with beer. Conclusion: poaching chicken in beer is a great way to get tender, flavorful meat in a short span of time.


3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
3 (12oz) bottles beer (Guinness)
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 tsp salt
24 oz (~3 cups) BBQ sauce


1. Place chicken in a large pot. Pour in beer until chicken is fully covered. Place the pot in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 hours or more.

2. Remove the pot from the refrigerator. Saute the onion in a separate pan, add to the pot, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Remove 1 at a time and shred.

3. Drain the pot and add the shredded chicken. Add BBQ sauce to reach desired consistency and heat until warm. Leftovers freeze well for 2 months.

Serving Idea: Slice a whole-grain french loaf in half and scoop out the insides. Fill with BBQ chicken and top with cheddar cheese, red onions and peppers and broil in the oven until the cheese melts.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Servings per Batch 12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230
Total Fat 3.5g
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Sugars 10g
Protein 35g
Filed in Main Course, Peanut Butterless

15 Responses / Leave a comment »

  1. meg says:

    This looks delicious! Great idea to add the beer.

  2. Utz says:

    beer goes well with anything

  3. Is this 2 posts in a row sans PB?? Hmm…. :)
    This looks awesome!

    Haha, good point. I need to get back to my roots =) ~ Nick

  4. I love cooking w/ beer. I think I’ve marinated chicken in beer, but I’ve not made a bbq sauce w/ it. Looks great! I’m cooking w/ tequila today :)

    Yum, I need to cook more with hard alcohols, they add such great flavor too. ~ Nick

  5. Sharon says:

    Oh yum. yum. yum!!! YUMM!!!!

  6. Beer and specially Guinness is so perfect to match with chicken, yummm!


  7. Marta says:

    Good combo Nick!! I like putting two thing I love together. I agree that alcohol really makes meats magnificently tender. I actually just finished a chicken poached in white wine, and it came out so tender. I have to say I did feel bad about pouring an entire bottle in… oh well!

    Sounds great. It does seem like a waste but it’s a necessary sacrifice for the meat! ~ Nick

  8. dawn says:

    have you ever used the Guiness in the chocolate cake?
    I know beer goes good in bbq sauce. Looks good Nick, I’d even eat this cold for breakfast the next day, including the hot pepper!

    In chocolate cake? Did I miss a recipe somewhere? ~ Nick

  9. Mary says:

    Made this last night and was slightly nervous about the whole guinness thing, since I am not a fan of drinking it. I followed your serving idea and it was pretty tasty! Thanks for the recipe and I am excited for my leftovers.

    • Nick says:

      Yea, it adds a nice subtle flavor to the chicken and it’s such an easy way to cook a lot of chicken. But in the end you can barely taste the Guinness due to the overwhelming BBQ sauce flavor. I’m glad you liked it!

  10. Kevin says:

    Guinness is a terrific ingredient for bringing out depth in a dish like this. I have a bread recipe that uses it as well. Terrific!

  11. Marge says:

    Can it be seared, braised , then BBQ whole w/ BBQ sauce? Need to travel w- it after braising.

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