Chicken Simmered in Beer

4 servings
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 8 pieces
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 6 lightly crushed juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces small button mushrooms, or large mushrooms, quartered, wiped clean and stems trimmed
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons gin
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle lager beer
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Hot white rice, accompaniment
  • Hot French bread, accompaniment
  • Lightly season the chicken on both sides with Essence.

  • In a large braising pan, heat the oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

  • Make a bouquet garni: In the center of a 6-inch square piece of cheesecloth, place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley sprigs and juniper berries. Draw up the sides to form a pouch and secure with kitchen twine. Set aside.

  • Sprinkle the flour over the chicken, turn and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the gin and cook until almost evaporated. Add the beer and bouquet garni, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is tender, 45 to 50 minutes.

  • Discard the bouquet garni and add the creme fraiche.

  • Stir to incorporate and simmer until warmed through (do not boil). Adjust the seasoning, to taste and sprinkle with the parsley.

  • Place the rice in the center of 4 large plates and top each with 2 pieces of chicken. Spoon the sauce over the top and serve immediately with French bread on the side.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

  • Yield: about 2/3 cup

  • Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993.

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