- Posted February 6, 2013 by
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Chicken Cooked In Ale
Add life and fun to your regular chicken dinner with a dash of booze. In this recipe adapted from The Good Cook: Poultry, chicken is sautéed in butter and shallots and flavored with gin, heavy cream, pepper, parsley, and cayenne. Combined with mushrooms and simmered in ale, this dish is a divine harmony of flavors and aroma. Use ale instead of regular beer for this recipe. Ale is a kind of beer that is a bit sweeter than the usual beer and is perfect for use in cooking.
A dry-heat cooking method, sautéing is the method of cooking ingredients over moderately high heat with little oil as opposed to frying which requires a lot of oil. Between the two methods, it is the healthier option and the easier to do. Sautéing is often done quickly, preserving the flavor and texture of the ingredients and giving them a bright and vibrant color.
The best pan used for sautéing chicken is a heavy-bottomed skillet large enough for the meat to cook without overcrowding. For this recipe, use a Dutch oven for cooking the chicken. The chicken should be browned first on all sides, sealing in its juices and moisture. Add oil to the pan while the pan is still cold and heat the oil over medium high flame. The pan and oil should be hot enough before you place the chicken or the meat will steam and not brown properly.
You know the pan is hot enough if you drop a piece of onion or a tidbit of vegetable in the oil and it sizzles. The oil should not be smoking hot or the meat will burn. After washing the chicken well, pat it dry. It should be free of moisture so that it turns a crispy golden brown when sautéed. If you cook the chicken while it is still moist or damp, it will steam and won’t brown well.
1 chicken (2 ½ to 3 lbs.)
4 tablespoons butter
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoons chopped shallots
½ cup gin
1 cup heavy cream
½ lb. fresh mushrooms, diced
2 cups ale
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a Dutch oven. Add the chicken and sauté until golden. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken with tongs and cover with a tent of foil to keep warm.
Add the shallots to the Dutch oven and sauté until golden. Place the chicken back in the Dutch oven. Pour the gin over the chicken and carefully flambé.
Add 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons cream, and the mushrooms. Add the ale and season with salt, pepper, and some cayenne pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. When chicken is cooked through, cut it into 4 pieces. Keep warm.
Add the remaining cream to the Dutch oven. Boil until thickened. Season, if needed. Remove the Dutch oven from the stove and add the remaining butter, allowing it to melt naturally in the hot cream sauce. Serve the chicken with the sauce poured over it and parsley sprinkled over the whole.