With Thanksgiving coming up quickly, it becomes all to easy to focus on what we will be serving NEXT week instead of what we are having for dinner this week. This beer braised is a great stew to serve this week — or any time! It is both hearty and healthful. Chicken thighs are a great ingredient to cook with because they have so much flavor and are so inexpensive—the best of both worlds. And since it cooks in one pot, there’s minimal clean-up. We braise the thighs in beer in this recipe, but you can also use apple cider or chicken broth. Serve with a grain, noodles, rice, or bread to sop up the sauce!
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 carrots roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2-3 parsnips, roughly chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large onion thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beer
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup chopped kale
1/4 cup cream
Heat the oven to 350°. Heat the olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole, Dutch oven or oven-safe pot. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, skin side down. Cook over moderately high heat for 12-15 minutes, turning once, until golden brown, about 12 minutes. When they are done, remove them from the pot and keep on a plate while the vegetables cook.
Add the carrots, parsnips, garlic and onion to the pan and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the beer and stir, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until thickened, less than 5 minutes. Add the broth, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken in the sauce, skin side up. Transfer the casserole to the oven and braise the chicken for about 50 minutes, until cooked through.
Last step: take the chicken out of the pan again and set aside. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat about 10 minutes until it is reduced to about 4 cups. Stir in the cream and kale and stir until blended. Return the chicken to the casserole, skin side up, and serve.