Mexican-Style Beer Stewed Chicken

Mexican-Stewed-Chicken---Sean-Z-PaxtonThis chicken recipe is simple, can be made in advance and worked into any number of dishes.  The smoked Doppelbock infuses with sweet & tender caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, earthy cumin and citrusy coriander, add some heat along with a dark dried fruit intensity from a few chilies, all combine harmoniously together to create a Mexican inspired protein.  This recipe uses chicken thighs as the main protein.  Whole duck legs, turkey thighs, pork chops or venison could be used substituted with the same preparation.

A Potato and Chorizo version makes a wonderful Pamboza filling.

 

Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière  | May 2014 | Issue #88

Mexican-Style Beer Stewed Chicken
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
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Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This chicken recipe is simple, can be made in advance and worked into any number of dishes.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minute
Cook Time
4 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minute
Cook Time
4 hour
Mexican-Style Beer Stewed Chicken
Votes: 4
Rating: 2.75
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
This chicken recipe is simple, can be made in advance and worked into any number of dishes.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minute
Cook Time
4 hour
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 20 minute
Cook Time
4 hour
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  • Begin by washing the chicken thighs and drying them on paper towels. Pat the skin and meat several times to get as dry as possible. Set aside and let the chicken warm to room temperature.
  • In a dry skillet, over medium heat, add the coriander and cumin seeds. Shake the pan back and forth frequently until the seeds become aromatic and just start to pop. Transfer them to a cleaned coffee or spice grinder and once cool, grind to a fine powder. Mix in the salt to make a seasoning for the thighs. Use half of this spice mix and evenly distribute it among all the thighs. Rub the spice mix into both sides of the meat. Let rest.
  • In the hot cast iron skillet, add the stemmed and seeded dried chilies, and toast a few at a time. The chile is ready when it’s soft, about 45 – 60 seconds. Transfer the prepared chilies to a slow cooker.
  • Next, add just enough oil/fat to the skillet to create a thin, even layer across the surface. Add the chicken thighs skin-side down, and increase the heat to medium high. Sear the thighs and cook undisturbed for 5–7 minutes.
  • Flip the thighs and cook another 3 – 4 minutes to sear the other side. Once finished, transfer the thighs to a plate, remove and set aside all the skin, then place into the slow cooker.
  • Add the prepared onions and let caramelize in the rendered chicken fat, stirring frequently for 8 – 10 minutes, dropping back the heat to medium. Once the onions are a medium-golden hue, add the remaining spice mix along with the fire-roasted tomatoes (or about 6 – 7 large heirloom tomatoes that have been roasted under the broiler for 10 minutes, then chopped with a head of peeled roasted garlic), and let the tomatoes reduce and caramelize into the onions for 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Pour this mixture over the thighs and rinse out any residual bits with the Smoked Doppelbock.
  • Add the carrots, avocado leaves, oregano and remaining salt to the slow cooker. The liquid level should be just below the thighs’ surface. If needed, add more beer, chicken stock or water to achieve the desired volume of cooking liquid. Turn the slow cooker on, setting for 4 hours on high, or 6 hours on low. Cover with the lid, and allow to simmer/braise. This can also be done in a sealed Dutch oven at 300°F/149°C for 2 hours.
  • Once the chicken meat is tender, use tongs to carefully remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred for use with the following recipes. The removed skin can be roasted on a sheet tray in a preheated 350°F/177°C oven for 10 minutes to crisp up both sides. This crispy chicken skin can serve as chicharrónes, or chop it up and add to any taco or burrito, or it can be eaten as is.
Recipe Notes

Recipe Variations: 

  • Substitute 4 turkey thighs for the chicken thighs to make a nice alternative version or substitute whole duck legs for a richer, more flavorful version.
  • To change the herbal flavor, enhancing other hop characteristics; substitute the oregano for 1 bunch of fresh epazote (or add it to the oregano, along with some smoked paprika)

 

Cooking Beer Variations and Recipe Alterations:

  • Replacing the smoked doppelbock will change the entire flavor of this recipe.  Each beer style will affect the final flavor.
    • Try a smoked porter instead, along with a tablespoon of your favorite coffee beans and a splash of soy sauce.
    • Experiment with chili beers, as the addition of fermentation and the chilies brings more flavor attributes to build off.
    • Other Smoked Beer styles will enhance the roasted tomato flavor, along with an addition of a cup of roasted garlic would be a tasty choice as well.
    • A twist to this recipe would be to take it to an Asian Mexican Infusion, using red miso, smoked tomatoes, chipolte peppers in adobo sauce, a slash of Bourbon barrel aged soy sauce, some kombu dashi, along with a doppelbock,, roasted garlic and a few pods of star anise.  Duck legs or extra firm tofu?
    • Keeping with the German adapted Mexican lager theme;
      • Märzen | Oktoberfest would boost the malty caramel elements with the caramelized onions, adding some roasted garlic for an extra earthy yet sweet addition
      • Eisbock with the combination of dried chilies would add a beautiful dark fruit (raisin, prune or plum notes) with the addition of dried cherries and using duck legs would also be a tasty treat.
    • A Chocolate Stout or Imperial Stout with beef short ribs (coated in Chocolate Ancho Rub, marinated overnight, then seared) and slow cooked with some Mexican chocolate would be insane for a Pamboza, torta or sope, let along a burrito meat, taco filling or ravioli filling...

 

Recipes that use this recipe:

 

Kim Johnson

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