Thursday, September 25, 2014

Stout Chicken Stew

Good evening everyone! Every once in a while, I look back on the recipes we cook and review the "season". The last time I did this for last fall / winter, I came to a conclusion - I didn't make enough stew and soup recipes. Fall, after all, is stew season and soups and stews are some of my favorite dishes to cook up. So, this fall I plan on focusing a lot more on soups, stews and "foods of the season". (Don't worry, we're not launching a "16 weeks of stews" feature).

We're getting the stew theme started this week by combining some of our favorite things: craft beer, fresh ingredients and easy preparation. Intrigued? You should be! Let's get cooking!

The Recipe: Stout Chicken Stew
Original Recipe Found on:

What You'll Need:

2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs*
1 Cup All Purpose Flour (divided)
5 Slices Thick Cut Bacon (chopped)
1 Pound Baby Carrots (Cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 Cups White Onion (Diced)
3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
2 Cups Frozen Peas
12 Ounces Stout Beer**
1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth

* For this recipe you will NEED boneless, skinless thighs. Chicken thighs can take longterm cooking better than any other cut of chicken and this recipe intends to cook the chicken until it falls apart. Since we're cooking the pieces to that point, you don't want skin and bones to "gunk" up the works - boneless skinless is the only way to go.

** We're big fans of craft brewing and local brewing. As such, when we have a chance to feature a smaller brewery, we always want to "tip our cap" towards their efforts. We enjoy the entire portfolio of beers offered by Millstream Brewing - especially their ales and stouts. So, when this dish called for a stout beer, we knew exactly where to turn.

Begin preparing the dish by adding 1/2 cup of the flour to a plate with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken thighs through this mixture until all of the thighs are evenly covered in a thin layer of flour. Set the chicken aside until all pieces are covered.

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large (12 inch) non stick skillet over medium high heat. Bring the oil to a shimmer before adding the chicken and cooking for 5 minutes per side, or until the exterior turns a nice golden brown. Once all the pieces are evenly browned, transfer them to the bottom of a 5 quart slow cooker.

Using the same skillet (don't clean it out) add the bacon and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the bacon begins to brown. Next, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to the skillet and cook for an additional two minutes, stirring constantly. Once the mixture begins to thicken, stir in the stout beer. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to work up any browned on bits from the bottom of the skillet. Once the mixture thickens and you'e worked up all the browned on bits, carefully pour the mixture into the slow cooker over the chicken.

Add the carrots, onions and garlic to the slow cooker along with the chicken broth. Give the mixture a good stir before coving the slow cooker and setting it to low. Allow the stew to cook for 7 to 8 hours.

Roughly 15 minutes before serving, stir in the frozen peas and allow them to cook until heated through. Immediately before serving, use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the stew a final time - this should break up any of the larger chicken pieces (that haven't already broken up during cooking).

Once you're satisfied all the chicken is broken up into manageable chunks, simply serve and enjoy!

The Results:

The base of this stew is bacon and do you think it tasted?!

The answer, obviously, is fantastic.

The base of the stew was deep and rich with flavor (no strong beer flavoring here) while the veggies added a bit of bright "fresh" flavors to the dish. The chicken's lovely neutral flavor tied the whole dish together and formed a delicious warming stew.

That's all we have for you this evening. Maggie takes to the kitchen tomorrow night with a fresh new take on a classic pasta recipe. Until then,


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