Let me introduce this week’s offering. It’s a chicken drowned in belligerence-inducing beer, so that even your Super Bowl LV meal might add a little to the cause…
Chicken in Beer
3-4 lbs. Assorted Chicken Pieces
1 cup Diced Yellow Onion
1 cup Diced Carrots
1 cup Diced Celery
3-4 Smashed Cloves of Garlic
1 Handful Chopped Fresh Italian (Flat Leaf) Parsley
4-5 12 oz. cans Lager
All Purpose Flour for Dusting
Salt & Pepper
There are a variety of reasons why I like this recipe but one I should highlight now is how amazing it makes your house smell. Most of the work is weighted toward the front end. So if you time it right, you can do all the
heavy lifting relatively light lifting and start the hands free, hour long simmer right before your guests arrive for the game. When they walk in they will comment on the aromas coming from your kitchen. It’s a good way to start things off.
I listed 3-4 lbs. assorted chicken parts. You can use any pieces in whatever combination you please. I prefer and think this recipe works better with dark meat, so I went with half drumsticks and half thighs, but let your taste buds be your guide.
Pat the chicken dry, liberally salt and pepper, and then drudge them lightly in the flour. You only want the slightest dusting of flour so give them a shake or pat to remove any excess.
Heat, on high, a few glugs of olive oil in a Dutch oven or similar deep pan and brown the chicken, in batches, on all sides. When sufficiently browned, set aside on a plate.
Turn the heat down to medium, give the pan a moment to drop to the new temperature, and supplement the oil and grease in the bottom of the pan with a glug or two of olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until translucent then add the carrots, celery, and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots and celery start to pale. Pour in two of the beers with the parsley, turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the beer to boil, be sure to scrape the little burned bits of chicken from the bottom of the pan and stir them into the liquid. They are surprisingly full of flavor and will add a lot to the your final sauce.
When the beer boils, reintroduce the chicken to the pan and arrange in as close to a single layer as possible. Pour in two more beers. Think about icebergs at this point. You want the beer to more or less cover the chicken but ten percent above the liquid is good too. If four beers isn’t enough, add the fifth. If it is, add the last beer to an ice cold glass and relax. All you have left to do is bring the contents of the pot back to a boil, reduce to a simmer and, with the exception of turning the chicken over at the thirty minute mark, leave it alone for an hour.
After an hour the meat should easily come off the bone when pulled. Take the chicken out of the pot and set aside on a plate. If you want you can cut into the thickest part of the largest piece with a knife to make sure it’s done. I’d go ahead and do that if you started with some particularly large breast but after an hour I’d be surprised if anything needed any further cooking.
Once satisfied that the meat is cooked, turn the heat back up to high and start reduce the beer sauce for five or ten minutes depending on how viscous you want it to be. Salt to taste.
I like this over mashed potatoes with a small salad, but it lends itself to all manner of sides.