Sierra Nevada chicken
A bit of a blast from the past, this. It comes from An Appetite for Ale, the beer and food book I wrote with my son Will at the time he owned a pub, the Marquess Tavern back in 2007.
It's a Belgian-style chicken stew made with a classic American ale. Chicken casserole re-invented.
Sierra Nevada Chicken
3 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
125g (4 1/2oz) smoked bacon lardons
500g (1lb 2oz) skinless, boneless chicken thighs cut into large chunks
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 level tbsp plain flour
300ml (10 fl oz) fresh chicken stock or stock made from half an organic chicken stock cube
150ml (5 fl oz) Sierra Nevada pale ale + a little extra to finish the dish
300g new potatoes
125g (4 1/2oz chestnut mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
A handful of roughly chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt and pepper
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and brown the lardons lightly (about 3-4 minutes). Remove to a casserole with a slotted spoon then lightly brown the chicken pieces. Transfer them to the casserole with the bacon, turn down the heat in the frying pan and add the chopped onion.
Cook until starting to soften (about 3-4 minutes) then add the sliced carrot and celery, stir and cook a couple of minutes more. Tip the vegetables into the casserole, stir, cover with a lid and leave to cook for 10 minutes over a very low heat for the flavours to amalgamate.
Remove the lid, add the crushed garlic and thyme, cook for a few seconds then stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Add the chicken stock and Sierra Nevada ale and bring up to boiling point. Turn the heat right down, re-cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.
Cut the new potatoes into even sized chunks, add them to the casserole, stir well and continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked (another 15-20 minutes), adding the sliced mushrooms about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Splash in a little extra Sierra Nevada ale (about 2 tbsp), season with salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve the stew in large shallow soup bowls.
What to drink: Sierra Nevada obviously or a similar pale ale - Kernel's Table Beer would be pretty good or try a full flavoured lager like Schiehallion
Photograph © Vanessa Courtier
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