Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've been a braising fool

For some reason I was feeling particularly German the other night. No reason that I can point out. Maybe it was my mood for beer and mustard. So I decided they should marry and be my dinner, in one combination or another. What happened? Chicken braised in beer with carrots and mustard roasted potatoes. How was it? OMG, so good! This is one of those things I just threw together, so I can't guarantee the recipe until I try it at least one more time...but in the meantime, here you go...

Beer Braised Chicken
4 Chicken Thighs-bone in/skin on
1/2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 carrots cut into equal size sticks
1 cup beer
1/2 cup chicken broth
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 TB Olive Oil

1. Season the chicken with salt & pepper. Heat oven to 400.

2. Heat the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, skin side down. Don't crowd the pot or the chicken will steam. Let the chicken cook and sear for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a plate.

3. If the pan is full of fat (olive oil & rendered chicken fat), drain all but 1 TB out. You may not need to do this.

4. Add the onion and saute until translucent, season with a pinch of salt and grind of pepper. Add the garlic clove and stir. Pour in the beer. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, thyme and bay leaf. Stir. Place the chicken back in the pot, skin side up. Pour in any accumulated juices from the chicken. Toss the carrots around the chicken. The chicken should be at least 1/2 covered with liquid--if not add additional broth, beer or water. Cover and place in the hot oven for 30 minutes.

5. If you wish to serve the chicken with the skin on (recommended!), place on a rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler for about 5 minutes--the skin will crisp up in that time. Otherwise it will be soggy, flabby and unappetizing.

6. With the chicken out of the pot, remove the carrots to a bowl and keep warm. Place the pot and the braising liquid over high heat and boil until reduced by half for a lovely jus to serve with the chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken after it's plated.

The pot before it goes in the oven. You need to sear it first to start to get a crust on the skin, build a flavor base and to render out some of the chicken fat. The carrots will come out very tender. If you want them to have a firmer texture, add about 1/2 way through the braising process.

Serve the chicken, sauce and carrots with Mustard Roasted Potatoes for a lovely German/Bavarian-style dish.


Dancer in DC said...

Truly delicious - the braising kept the chicken incredibly moist and flavorful. Coupled with those delicious veggies, I was most happy.

mdfifi said...

When I first read this, I knew I wanted to try it. Well, I made it tonight. It was sensational! I kept wishing I had a nice loaf of bread to soak up the sauce. Thank you for sharing!