Craft Beer can be expensive as we all know, so every once in a while I go to my local grocery store and get one of those 12 packs that has a variety of beers, in the end, those cases of beer can cost the same or even less than that $18 bottle. I have to say that every time I pick one up, I’m never disappointed in the product they put in those boxes, sure they have some that I wouldn’t buy on its own, but since it came in the pack, I’m glad I picked it up and it helps me try new beers. The pack I purchased a few weeks ago was from New Belgium Brewing, it was the Folley Pack that had their Spring offerings and in the case, I found three bottles of the Abbey Style Ale. I drank two of them and the third bottle, I used it to make dinner on a Sunday night and I made a Beer Braised Chicken dish, it was delicious and I include the recipe in this post and you’ll definitely want to stick around for it.
The Abbey Style Ale had some of the common aromas you’ll find in this style, it was a bit boozy with some alcohol being very present, some of those biscuity smells too like bread and some yeast funk, and this beer was very malty, it smelled delicious. The Ale has a medium body with low carbonation. The taste is primarily malty, you’ll get lots of malt throughout the sip and will combine with a bit of banana and vanilla sweetness up front, finishing with a yeast and alcohol flavor. The bottle noted it had some anise, but I failed to smell or taste any of it, even though I let it sit to reach room temperature.
This is a a beer that really surprised me, I was not expecting it to be up there in my rating system. As I previously mentioned, these 12 packs I tend to buy, have a mix of bottles that please me, on average they are Three Beer Caps, but this particular Abbey Belgian Style Ale merits Four Beer Caps from me. If you’re reading this, get to the store and pick one up and make sure you also get the rest of the ingredients for the Beer Braised Chicken recipe I have below for you.
The Abbey Ale marries well all of the ingredients from the recipe. You’ll experience a nice and creamy broth with great earthy flavors from the ale, mushrooms, and beans. It’s a lovely home-made flavor made for these cold winter days. I got the recipe off the Food & Wine website and didn’t have all of the ingredients available, like the anise seeds and saffron, but the flavors came out great.
Throw one back for me ~ cheers!
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
- 8 skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons anise seeds
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 cup shelled fava beans
- 1/2 cup fresh peas, preferably English peas
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound button mushrooms, halved
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- One 12-ounce bottle Belgian beer
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- In a small skillet, toast the anise seeds over moderate heat, shaking the skillet, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let the anise seeds cool slightly, then crush with the side of a knife.
- In a mini food processor, combine the toasted anise seeds with the chopped garlic, saffron, paprika and cayenne. Add the lemon juice and puree. Transfer the mixture to a large, shallow bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Add the chicken thighs and turn to coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and the fava beans and cook for 1 minute; using a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes; drain. Peel the fava beans and add to the peas.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, scraping off the excess. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter.
- Wipe out the casserole, add the butter and heat until melted. Add the halved mushrooms, sliced scallions and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the beer and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole.
- Return the chicken thighs to the casserole and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the cream, fava beans and peas, increase the heat to moderate and cook uncovered until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs. Serve the chicken stew in shallow soup bowls, sprinkled with the parsley.