Taste of Fall (& Beer)
We’ve had many days in the 90′s and high 80′s with humidity on top of it. Perfect conditions for the beach if you’re lucky enough to go. If not, it’s just too hot to do much of anything else for my liking. Perhaps, hide out in various air-conditioned joints.
Maybe that’s why my mind has been drifting to thoughts of Fall. And with thoughts of the cooler weather, there soon came thoughts of the flavors that go along with it. Then, I found myself fantasizing about comfort foods – and a new recipe was born. Beer Braised Chicken.
It’s simple really. You throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and let them do their thing until they’re so tender that they fall apart when touched by your fork. And, did I mention the beer?
What’s funny is I’m not a drinker and I can’t stand the taste of alcohol on its own. But when it’s in food, it adds a ton of flavor and depth to your other ingredients. This is definitely a case where the beer makes the sauce for this dish. It’s rich, it’s tangy, and it’s layered with sweet and sour tones. D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.
Plus, I’m always looking for new ways to make chicken.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs or legs
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, finely chopped
- 1 large piece of celery, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 oz, bacon or cubed ham ( I used ham this time)
- 1 bottle beer, dark
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt & pepper to taste
Now for the cooking part:
- Heat a large pot or dutch oven with your olive oil to medium heat
- Add bacon or ham. Cook 1-2 mins until crispy. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Place your chicken in the pot & sear each side 2-3 mins. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Add in the onion, carrot and celery and saute several minutes until tender.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir for a minute or so. This is the base for your sauce.
- Pour in your beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the brown bits into your gravy
- Nestle the chicken and ham/bacon back into the pot and add your chicken stock.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to low-med. Cook 1 – 2 hrs until meat is fork tender & falls off the bone.
Now you’re ready to serve the chicken on top of a mound of rice or mashed potato. Or, you can eat it as-is and dip some good italian bread in the gravy (that’s what I did). Sooo good.
The layers of flavor in this dish are fabulous. You taste the chicken, the veggies, the beer…and it comes together so easily. And your house will smell absolutely wonderful while cooking this up.
So if you want an escape from summer and summer meals, try this fall recipe or hold on to it until the weather turns cool and you’re looking for a bit of comfort.