beer and food

Things to do with crap beer #5: chicken thigh casserole


You need a specific type of crap beer for this one — you don’t want too much bitterness. We’ve used Stella Artois, and you have to cook it for a long time before the bitterness and metallic taste disappears. We got much better results with Debowe Mocne (other sweet Polish tramps’ lagers like Warka Strong would probably work) and also a bottle of Kronenbourg Blanc that a well-meaning friend left round.  It also works quite well if you have any flat homebrew left in a polypin.

By using chicken thighs on the bone, you create the stock as the casserole cooks, producing a really rich taste. It’s great comfort food, especially on a rainy day like today.

Recipe after the jump.

You need:

  • two rashers of smoky bacon
  • butter
  • thyme
  • a medium sized onion
  • a couple of sticks of celery
  • a carrot
  • lots of garlic
  • two chicken thighs on the bone
  • a bottle of crap beer (or maybe two)
  • tin of butter beans, haricot beans or something similar
  • time!

Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius. Dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot. Chop the bacon into small strips or squares. In a large pan, melt a generous lump of butter and add the bacon, then sweat the veg for around 20 minutes. Add the chicken thighs, thyme and the crap beer and bring to the boil.

Transfer into a casserole dish, making sure the chicken legs are covered (add more crap beer or water if necessary, it will depend on the size of your dish). Cover and put into the oven for around an hour.

Before you serve, taste and season with salt and pepper. You could also add another sliced onion and cook it for a further 10 minutes, or do some kind of breadcrumb crust — mix together breadcrumbs, parmesan and parsley, add to the top of the casserole, and grill for a few minutes.

4 replies on “Things to do with crap beer #5: chicken thigh casserole”

Nice one, I’ve used crap beer for cooking too. You can also blend it out and make it surprisingly drinkable. Mixing with strong dark beers is usually the best bet.

Nice recipe, this looks excellent and I love dishes like this. Out of interest, do you think that it’d be better if you used a better beer? Or is most of the actual beer flavour cooked out?

Mark — it doesn’t taste very beery at all. We’ve used more interesting beers and they’ve overwhelmed it. A nice pint of mild might be good, though.

Tandleman — this one’s all about the beans for us, but you can chuck in as many chicken thighs as you like. Or some bonus sausages to make it a bit like a cassoulet.

Ed — does that work even with *really* crap beer like Stella or Kronenbourg Blanc? Worthy a try, I guess.

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