Wade on Birmingham

Birmingham’s Best Eats: Blackened chicken needs a little Voodoo


By Brian Heptinstall

Mention New Orleans, and many people think of Bourbon Street and the revelry that comes with it. For me, the city represents a never-ending search for the native foods that I crave so much.

Birmingham's Best EatsOn a 2005 trip just one month before Hurricane Katrina struck, I ventured with a friend into a restaurant in the French Quarter, where we ordered Blackened Voodoo Chicken made with Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager. I wish I had obtained the recipe from the chef, because the restaurant went out of business after Katrina.

I tried my best to re-create this dish soon after. But I ran into one fundamental problem every time: the flavor of the substitute beer just didn’t measure up to Dixie. Because the hurricane heavily damaged the Dixie Brewing Co. also, it made Voodoo even harder to find.

Nowadays, several breweries produce Dixie varieties under contract, while the Dixie Brewing works to resume operations in New Orleans. Shoppers can find the brand at most high-end supermarkets and at Cost Plus World Market on U.S. 280 near Best Buy.

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Photo by Brian Heptinstall.

Blackened Voodoo Chicken

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager (available at Cost Plus World Market)
  • 2 cans (12 ounces) stewed tomatoes, small dice (reserve the tomato juice)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (we use Tony Chachere’s)
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces and dusted with flour (beurre manié)
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • Hot sauce, as needed
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (follow instructions on bag)

In a medium sauce pan over high heat, sear chicken, onions and bell pepper in the olive oil. When chicken is cooked, add in the garlic and sweat for about 1 minute, then add beer to deglaze. Let the alcohol cook off (about 2 minutes), then add tomatoes and tomato juice. Bring to a boil.

After a boil has been reached, turn heat down to a simmer and add in bay leaves and Creole seasoning. Allow liquids to reduce by half, about 30 minutes.

After reduction, turn off heat and add in butter dusted with flour, stirring until butter has melted. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference; adding any hot sauce should be done at the end.

Serve over bed of rice, or mix in rice to let it soak up the goodness. Leftovers should be refrigerated immediately and will keep for up to 5 days.

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Other recipes using Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager:

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Brian HeptinstallGadsden native Brian Heptinstall (@bheptin) writes the AL.com blog Food and Farce and produces how-to videos featuring his favorite foods from Walt Disney World on A Taste of Disney. A classically trained chef, he has worked in several top kitchens including Mar-A-Lago, the Four Seasons, Il Cioppino Italian Restaurant and the PGA Resort and Spa.

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Hungry for more? Check out the menu of Birmingham’s Best Eats!

1 Yip for “Birmingham’s Best Eats: Blackened chicken needs a little Voodoo”

  1. Tweets that mention Wade on Birmingham » Birmingham’s Best Eats: Blackened chicken needs a little Voodoo -- Topsy.com
    Friday, August 20, 2010, 9:56 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Wade Kwon, AlabamaBloggers. AlabamaBloggers said: RT @WadeOnTweets: Bham's Best Eats: Does @bheptin's chicken dish use black magic? No: Blackened Voodoo. http://itswa.de/bbe-voodoo #bhameats […]

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