Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs | March 29, 2011

Meal number two of the Week in a Day experiment was beer-braised chicken thighs.  This dish was sure to be a hit, since it included the words “beer” and “chicken thighs.”  I was also optimistic since the bolognese from the same episode had turned out so well.  The only thing that concerned me was reheating everything, since you never know if that will zap all of the good flavor and texture out of a meal.

Basically, I prepped the recipe as if I was going to eat it right then and there, but then I took the whole Dutch oven off the heat and refrigerated it “as-is” (in other words, I didn’t put it in different or individual storage containers).  Then, the night I served the dish, I took the Dutch oven out of the fridge, got it to room temperature (or pretty close), and then heated it through over low-medium heat.  I served it over couscous because I had it on hand and it was quick and easy, but it could work easily well over rice or smaller pasta or even mashed potatoes.

The dish was full of flavor, though maybe not as spicy as I anticipated (easily adjustable for next time).  And since all of the slicing and dicing is done on the official cook day, it’s an easy dish to throw together.  I really couldn’t believe it, but Rachael Ray was batting a thousand…

  • 8 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 link andouille sausage, casing removed and chopped, or 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager beer
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with chiles or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • Scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Warm baguette, for mopping

Pat the chicken thighs dry, and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the chicken and brown on both sides in 2 batches.  Remove the chicken to a plate and spoon out 1/2 the drippings, and add the andouille sausage. Brown for 2 minutes and then add the onion, celery, pepper, garlic, and thyme, and cook to soften, for about 10 minutes over medium heat.  Add the flour, stir 1 to 2 minutes, and then pour in the beer and let the foam subside. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, and hot sauce. Let the sauce thicken a bit, and then slide the chicken into the pot and simmer to cook through. Serve with warm crusty bread, or cool and store for make-ahead meal.


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