Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stout Beer Chicken Thighs (Recipe)

Ha….that almost sounds like a night out in the UK <Wink>.

Anyway, I wanted to post this, as St Pat’s is coming up and what a perfect time to cook with Stout.

I personally will be in LA for a User’s Conference and don’t have time to try this for a few weeks, but there are some more accomplished cooks out there (TommyG, Marsha, Kendra) that would do this better justice than me anyway.  Will any of you three take up the challenge and give this a try?  Send me your pics and I will post.


Stout beer makes saucy chicken thighs

Braise them with carrots, mushrooms, peas and bacon.

Most health-conscious cooks focus on boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
It makes sense. This ubiquitous piece of the bird is convenient, versatile and virtually fat-free. But there are other options on the same bird. The more flavorful and just as convenient boneless, skinless thighs really should be near the top of your shopping list. Here's why:
While it is true that the humble thigh is fattier than the breast — about 7 grams per 3-ounce cooked portion — that fat brings with it the extra flavor and moisture breasts can so often lack. Plus, the dark meat of the thigh contains the nutritional jackpot of considerably more iron and twice the zinc of white meat.
That extra fat also means it's harder to ruin a chicken thigh recipe, even with quick, high-heat cooking.
Boneless, skinless thighs are just as convenient as breasts, but they do take a bit longer to cook, which makes them well suited to absorb plenty of smokiness on the grill or flavor from a sauce during a stovetop braise.
This recipe for stout-braised chicken thighs, which is perfect for St. Patrick's Day, combines flash browning over high heat and a quick, low-heat braise. By switching around the sauce ingredients, you can turn this method for cooking thighs into an endless variety of dishes
Here, the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of a stout beer and a single strip of chopped bacon to make a smoky, malty sauce that's balanced by the sweetness of peas, carrots and onions, plus the earthiness of mushrooms.
Serve with mashed potatoes or even an Irish colcannon (potatoes mashed with kale or cabbage) to help soak up the sauce.

Stout-braised chicken thighs

Start to finish: 50 minutes (30 minutes active)
Servings: 4.

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 slice bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup baby carrots
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, halved
  • 3/4 cup stout, such as Guinness
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup frozen baby peas

In a shallow dish, combine 1/4 cup of flour with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and black pepper. Dredge chicken thighs in flour mixture to coat completely, then set on a plate. In a 12-inch, nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil. Add chicken thighs and cook until well browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
Add bacon to skillet and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add onion, carrots and mushrooms and saute until vegetables begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, another 2 minutes.
Add stout and broth to pan and bring to a boil using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Return thighs to pan, nestling them among vegetables. Reduce heat until liquid is gently simmering, then cover and cook 15 minutes.
Add peas and cook, covered, for 5 minutes more. Uncover pan and simmer 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and serve chicken with vegetables and sauce spooned over top.
Per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 409 calories; 180 calories from fat (44 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 98 mg cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 2 g fiber; and 397 mg sodium.


  1. Thanks for the recipe, I have been reading some recipes on using stout to cook and its really tempting me to try out very soon.

  2. The picture above was of S.Wells' attempt at the recipe. Thanks for sending :)

    Also, what was his opinion of the recipe itself?

    "In the words of the self proclaimed genius Charlie Sheen ... WINNER!!"

  3. So I guess I should comment on my results.
    Overall this really is a great recipe, Pretty simple to make, relatively quick, and not much washing up afterwards!

    I did have to deviate a little.
    The Guinness I thought I had saved for this was apparently consumed over the weekend, so instead I used Newcastle Brown Ale. Also at the last minute (as you can see in the pic) I decided to add some Sweet corn too - since I'm in Indiana after all!

    Finally, I took Ed's advice and made Mashed Potato with Kale... Well worth the extra effort !!

    Honestly, I'll be making this again.
    The sauce was great. I bumped up the QTY's of Beer and Stock a little (cos we like our gravy) and probably ended up using a little over a cup of each.

    The sauce had a very slight bitter taste which is balanced perfectly by the mild sweetness of the peas, carrots and sweet corn.

    As you can see from the picture too, it's a hearty meal and would go down really well on a cold winters evening.
    I think the Key here as Ed mentioned too was the Chicken Thigh. Perfect moistness and a little bit of crunch from the browning.

    All in all THUMBS UP, Kids and Wife loved it too.. even the "Green" mash !!


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