I love winter.
I can’t get enough time outdoors in the snow – whether it be hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, or just having an impromptu snowball fight. Hell, I’ve even been known to drag out the grill occasionally on those quiet, ice cold, snowy nights. Tonight is going to be one of those nights. I can just feel it. There’s something about the intrinsic contradiction of cooking out in winter that makes it so much fun. I mean, what better time to smell a barbeque than when you least expect it in the dead of winter, right? Right.
So, as the heavy snow began falling here in Buffalo today, I began to think about the whole cooking out thing and how much I miss making my “Dirt Track Chicken” – a recipe handed down to me in the pits of Spangdahlem Raceway in Germany, back in the days when I raced a modified, rollcage-clad, ‘76 VW Bug around a dirt track.
“Dirt Track Chicken” was always a favorite amongst drivers and fans alike, if only for it’s most important ingredient: Bitburger Beer (or “Bit” as it’s known). For those long nights working on the cars or just hanging out, we had our chicken, our beer, and our sense of camaraderie. That’s all we needed. And luckily for us, Bitburger brewery was only 5 Km away, so not even beer was in short supply. However, since moving back to the U.S., well, it’s been difficult to find Germany’s finest brew. There are specialty markets that cater to hard-to-find imports, but even then those are hard to find sometimes.
Bitburger has been in the brewing business since 1817, and boasts production of over 4.1 million hectoliters of Germany’s Premiere Pils. Even after Allied forces razed 86% of the City of Bitburg to rubble during WWII, the brewery was rebuilt. Even now, with its eighth generation family members at the helm, there’s no stopping Bitburger. If none of those facts convince you of Bitburger’s longevity and popularity, nothing will.
Before I forget, here’s the recipe:
Dirt Track Chicken
Chicken (Breasts or wings)
6 pack of Bitburger Premium Pils
Rosemary (just a pinch)
Thyme (just a pinch)
Pepper & Salt to taste
Combine 1 bottle of Bitburger Beer (drink the remaining beer while you wait or share it with friends), rosemary, thyme, and pepper in a bowl large enough to accommodate all the chicken you will be cooking. Let sit for no less than 1 hour. For best results, marinate overnight. Grill chicken until completely cooked. Serve with (you guessed it) more Bitburger.