Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Saison Braised Chicken Thighs with Honey Cumin Carrots

I have had saison and chicken on the brain for a while. I do not know why. But I don't particularly care.

Saisons are an excellent beer to pair with food in general. The rustic beer is perfect with rustic foods. Roasted and braised preparations play off of the malt backbone.  The dry finish and high carbonation cuts through rich, fatty meats. And the peppery spice character from the yeast and hops plays incredibly well with a myriad of kitchen spices....thyme, juniper, pepper, cumin, coriander, ginger oregano, garlic...even floral notes from teas and rose hips are enhanced by this beer.  It plays well with heat and loves earthy, funky flavors found in mushrooms and many cheeses. No wonder it is one of my favorite beer styles.

The recipe is my own

serves 3-4

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3-4 thighs)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp butter
1 small yellow onion, julienned
6-8 juniper berries
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
12 oz Saison, divided
1 lb baby carrots, halved lengthwise
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and dried thyme. Pat the chicken dry and dredge in flour mixture.

Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet set over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the juniper berries, thyme and bay leaf to the skillet.
Stir in 10 oz of the saison. Bring to a boil. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Cook 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 2 oz of saison with the honey, oil, cumin and salt. Add the carrots and toss to coat. Arrange the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast alongside the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and beginning to caramelize.

Remove the carrots from the oven. Uncover the chicken. Pre-heat the broiler and broil the chicken 4-5 minutes, browning the skin.

Serve along with pan juices.

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