For this beer braised chicken, chicken thighs and root vegetables–onion, carrots, potatoes, and celery root–are simmered low and slow in porter. Brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, and thyme round out the flavors. Note: Many porters tend to be bitter, so if you’re not a fan of bitter, try a less aggressive brown ale.
This simple beer braised chicken recipe is simple to make, complex in taste. And your only role is to toss some ingredients in a pot and let them slowly burble and bubble on the back burner. In the words of the author, “the toastiness of the porter plus the sweetness of root vegetables and the spiciness of Dijon mustard create a stew full of contrasting, but harmonious, flavors.” In other words, magic. Be warned, though, that much depends on your selection of beer. You can’t just crack open a PBR and dump it in the pot. Best to opt for a slightly bitter porter, as the bitterness lends a complex richness to the sauce, but doesn’t actually come through in the resulting chicken dish. It just sorta smooths all the rough edges. Which is exactly what we—and, probably, you—could use after a long day. Originally published February 26, 2013.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Beer Braised Chicken
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 8 skinless or skin-on chicken thighs (3 1/2 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 oz), at room temperature
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) chunks
- 4 to 6 medium red potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1-inch (25 mm) chunks
- 1 medium celery root, peeled, trimmed, halved, and cut into 1-inch (25 mm) chunks (or substitute potatoes)
- Two (12-ounce) bottles porter (its slightly bitter, coffee-like overtones make this stew robust and lovely although you could opt for a slightly less bitter brown ale)
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium canned chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- 1. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. In a large, heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the chicken, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. (You may need to cook the chicken in batches.) Transfer to a plate.
- 2. Pour off the fat from the pot, leaving just enough to barely coat the pot. With the heat still on medium, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the onions and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, and celery root, and stir in the porter, broth, sugar, mustard, tomato paste, and thyme. Return the chicken thighs to the pot, submerging them in the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- 3. In a heatproof bowl using the back of a fork, mash together the remaining 5 tablespoons butter and the flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk about 2 cups hot cooking liquid into the flour-butter mixture, and then slowly but constantly stir this mixture into the pot. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- 4. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Skim any fat from the surface of the stew or, if you have a fat separator, dump the cooking liquid into it and pour off the fat. If you prefer a thicker sauce, return the liquid to the pot and simmer until the desired consistency is achieved. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper, then pour the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Scatter a pinch of parsley over the stew, if desired.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This beer braised chicken is an amazing dish! This is hands-down the best chicken I've ever made. The list of ingredients looks daunting, but it's so simple to prepare and the flavor is complex, rich, and dynamic. The hardest part was finding porter. I finally found a coffee porter and used that. Be warned this makes a LOT of sauce, but that's okay as it's great to soak up with a nice bread. The only complaint I have is the vegetables in the recipe weren't really enough for 4 people. I will certainly make this again but will add more veggies to make it a truly one-pot meal.
As promised, this beer braised chicken recipe produced a hearty stew with deep flavors. The chicken was moist and the root vegetables sweet. I’m not sure that the celery root added all that much to the stew, and could be omitted since it’s not an item that’s usually kept on hand. The porter produced a lovely rich sauce that was enhanced by just the right amount of thyme. I didn’t really taste the mustard—perhaps that ingredient could be increased. A satisfying dish for a cold, snowy January night. Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread available to soak up every bit of the sauce.
This recipe is super easy to put together and it produces a very satisfying and complete meal in one pot. The only addition might be some crusty bread to sop up the braising liquid and a nice green salad to start. The flavor of the braising liquid is quite bitter. I added a little more brown sugar after tasting the finished sauce to help balance the flavors. Next time, I’ll cut back on the ale and increase the amount of broth to reduce the bitterness a bit more. The chicken thighs are the most tender and tasty I’ve ever had and the root veggies were perfectly cooked in the time specified.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced cook, this is an easy recipe to whip up. It makes a large batch and is suitable for a crowd and/or leftovers for a weeknight meal. It took me a little over 10 minutes to fry up the entire batch of chicken and 30 minutes to simmer it. I melted the butter, let it cool, then added the flour and made a nice paste, which I then proceeded to add to the stew. The porter ale made it quite sweet, complementing the root vegetables. I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. I suggest adding 4 minced cloves of garlic. Perhaps 1 teaspoon more of thyme, a splash of lemon juice to tie it all together, and even a dash of chile flakes for that oomph. I think this recipe has great potential.
When I read this beer braised chicken recipe, I thought it’d be perfect for a January dinner. I was right. All the flavors worked together with a balance between sweetness and a slight tartness; the porter gave depth to the sauce. The celery root was an inspired choice.
My tasters said they’d eat this beer braised chicken again and I’ll definitely make it again! The chicken was delicious and plentiful and we didn’t have to wait for hours before enjoying it. Everything was perfectly tender and the deeply flavored sauce was fantastic. Bread on the side is a must to mop up the sauce! I could’ve easily fed more than 4 people. Depending on what’s available and your preferences, I think you can be flexible with the vegetables—more or less of what the recipe calls for or add other ones such as parsnips.
This beer braised chicken is a delightful one-pot chicken dish that’s hearty and simple all at the same time. A good dark beer can be quite the addition to the dinner table, especially when combined with all the makings of a luscious stew. I found the recipe to be a very simple dish with lots of rustic flavor, deep nuttiness, and a generous helping of chicken. The ingredients are a classic combination of tomato, celery root, Dijon, and thyme, making for a heavenly gravy once it’s finished with the roux (butter and flour). I served it alongside a very creamy garlic mash and broccoli. It was a hit with all the family.
After a day of skiing, I came home and quickly prepared this delicious beer braised chicken for my family. What a hit! A brilliant combination of underutilized chicken thighs (I used boneless) and celery root, which marry perfectly with porter (I used Black Butte Porter by Deschutes Brewery, which has notes of coffee and chocolate). I think next time I’d add a bit more carrot and maybe another potato. In addition, a nice dose of salt and pepper at the end is certainly welcome prior to serving.
This beer braised chicken is a delicious and hearty stew which comes together in about an hour, prep work included. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this considering I’m not a beer drinker. The porter added a nice richness to the chicken, but did overpower the sauce slightly. I’d add some fresh chopped parsley to the final presentation for some nice brightness. I’d vote this a weeknight winner for the convenience and heartiness of this one-pot meal.
I made this beer braised chicken for a weeknight dinner. I omitted the celery root and substituted baby Yukon potatoes for red potatoes. I was a bit nervous that the flavor of the porter would overwhelm the dish, which it didn’t; rather, it added nice depth. The dish was a hit!
This beer braised chicken recipe makes a nice, rich, and hearty stew that’s wonderful on a cold winter night. The hardest part for me was actually finding celery root or celeriac for it. The only changes I’d make would be to add a few cloves of smashed garlic to the onions while sautéing them and to perhaps toss in a bay leaf or two into the pot while it simmers. And if you like your chicken skin on the crunchy side, pull the thighs out after they’re done, while you’re thickening the sauce, broil them for a few minutes, and then place them back in the pot.