Beyond the Bottle: New Ways to Cook with Beer for Oktoberfest

Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs

Just days ago Oktoberfest, the annual celebration of all things Bavarian, kicked off in Germany, but on this morning's all-new episode of The Kitchen, the co-hosts brought the party stateside with a menu of authentic eats and drinks. At Oktoberfest, beer may be the drink of choice for the crowds of revelers enjoying the events, but there's more to do with beer than simply say "Cheers!" From savory stews to sweet cakes, beer shines in a mix of classic and creative recipes, thanks to its range of bold flavors. Read on below for tips on putting the bottles of beer in your refrigerator to work in easy chicken dinners, fish-and-chip plates, moist chocolate cake and more must-try favorites.

When it comes to braising, it's the ingredients in the liquid that flavor whatever you're cooking, so when Rachael Ray adds a bottle of lager to the broth in her Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs (pictured above) recipe, she ensures that the meat turns out full of flavor every time. She simmers the moist chicken thighs in the garlic-laced broth alongside sausage and peppers for a bold meal. Want to use pork instead of chicken? Try Food Network Magazine's Beer-Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs, gently cooked in a mixture of sauteed onions, amber ale and fresh herbs.

In his recipe for Beer Batter Fish and Spicy Chips with Lemon-Habanero Tartar Sauce and Serrano Vinegar, Bobby Flay adds a few cups of beer to the frying batter to guarantee a light, crispy coating on the meaty cod. After removing the potatoes from their second bath in the fryer, season them with a duo of chili powders for over-the-top taste.

Many fondue recipes call for white wine to thin the melted cheese and add welcome flavor, but Rachael's German Cheddar and Beer Fondue is made with lager instead. This hearty, comforting dip is laced with tangy Worcestershire sauce, and it's best served alongside a mix of dippers, like mini party franks, fresh vegetables and cubed bread.

Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake

For a sweet ending to the meal, look no further than Marcela Valladolid's Chocolate Stout Bundt Cake (pictured above). Since the stout beer boasts a natural subtle chocolate flavor, it's a go-to pairing for the cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate in Marcela's impressive dessert.

Don't miss a new episode of The Kitchen on Saturday at 11a|10c.

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