Palate Pleasers

Chicken braised in beer

Posted on: January 31, 2010

My cousin Jackie made this recipe last week and posted it on her blog, “Jackie Writes” which can also be found on my web page (  When she posted  this recipe, I knew I had to try it right away – it sounded amazing.  I know that many of you are thinking “Beer? I’ve heard of cooking with wine – but Beer?”  Actually, you can cook with Beer in the same way that you would cook with wine and it adds so much flavor to the end result.  The addition of Beef Broth and cream in the end made the flavors even richer . We have a friend who loves beer in the same way that I love wine.  We called him up to find out what Belgian Beer would go best with this dish and he suggested “Chimay Ale Premier” with the reddish-brown label.  (Can be found at Trader Joes).  I loved making this dish and didn’t change a thing.  I would suggest doing the prep work ahead of time and have everything ready to put in the pan.  I used my All Clad Stainless steel Saute pan which had deep sides and was perfect for this recipe.  

If you go to the right side of Jackie’s link above she has beautiful photos of the end result.  I know that you will enjoy this dish.  I also served this dish with a nice green salad and baked Rosemary-garlic potatoes. 


1 fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces and skinned (I used 3 large chicken breasts and cut them in half)

1 bottle (12 oz.) of Belgian beer

15 pearl onions (whole), or 7 shallots (I used shallots and cut them in large chunks)

12 large white mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and quartered

3 carrots, peeled and cut into carrot pennies

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp butter (preferably unsalted)

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp finely minced fresh parsley

a hearty pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


 Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and half of the butter over medium heat in a large, deep pan (ideally, an enameled dutch oven). Add the chicken pieces and sauté until brown on both sides (about 10 minutes). Remove the chicken pieces and set aside.

Add the remaining butter to the pan, and then add the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, stirring frequently until they brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sprinkle with sugar, and cook for 1 – 2 more minutes.

 Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir well to make sure the flour blends well with the butter and coats the vegetables.

 Deglaze the pan by adding the beer and broth and scrape up the brown bits at the bottom. Add the chicken pieces, thyme, bay leaf, and half of the parsley. Cover the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf, and remove the chicken and set aside. Add cream and nutmeg to the sauce and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until nicely thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce, sprinkle with remaining parsley, and serve.

 (Serves 4.)

**COOK’s NOTE:  I loved all the vegetables and flavors that went into making this.  I’m not a big cooked carrot lover – comes from the days my parents made me eat mixed vegetables, so I only put 1 carrot in the dish.  Also, I didn’t have dried thyme, so I put 2 thyme sprigs in the sauce.  I also inadvertently left out the nutmeg and it tasted really great without – next time I’ll have to remember to put it in”.  Go ahead and buy that bottle of Belgian Beer and make this great recipe!  You’ll love it!**



1 Response to "Chicken braised in beer"

So glad you enjoyed it! You’re the second person this week to tell me that it turned out great for them. It really does taste fabulous. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, either, but was enormously pleased at the end result!

And I love Chimay and think that’s a great fit for this. I didn’t know they sold it at Trader Joe’s. Great news for next time!

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