A delicious beer-braised chicken stew recipe loaded with vegetables, potatoes, carrots, corn and fresh herbs.
Brrrr, oh it’s time to make some stew to take the chill out of your bones! I may be experiencing “Cali winter,” aka I still occasionally wear shorts and flip flops on the weekend, but I still crave warm winter foods. Are you still in colder times where you live? To get started, we are going to need some chicken (check!), vegetables (double check!), and some beer (check! Wait, whut?!?!).
Oh yes, some BEER. If you haven’t tried adding a little bit of bubbly fermented goodness to your soups and stews yet, then you have been missing out. Not to fret, I have a hot and delicious, bowl scraping, ask for seconds recipe. This hearty beer-braised chicken stew with vegetables is coming your way!
My husband Jason is a big fan of beer, probably more than wine, but not as much as scotch, ha. There’s many ways to brew, flavor and age beer that not one tastes the same. Some can even go up to 11% alcohol, and that’s 3% away from a bottle of vino!
A light and refreshing lager on a hot summer day, a chocolate stout to go with some dessert, or a golden hoppy, flavorful ale to add to a hearty soup (saving a sip for the chef) is my plan!
I was inspired by a visit to Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, California. They have brewery tours, a full blown bistro (with soft pretzels!!!), beers on tap, and a beautiful beer garden so you can grab a pint and enjoy the day outside. Super kid friendly too, fist bump for parents! After spending an afternoon of beer and food tasting, I was curious to see what would happen when adding a hint of alcohol into a bubbling pot of chicken stew.
How To Make Chicken Stew with Beer
This hearty, savory big ole’ pot of stew is a whole meal packed into one. You’ve got everything you would want for a satisfying stew; big chunks of tender chicken, baby potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms, corn still on the cob and a nice splash or two of beer.
- Beer Selection: I decided to use a pale ale for its dark amber color, slight bitterness, and big hoppy flavor. You can certainly try other styles, and their character will shine through in the flavor of the stew, yum!
- Chicken: If you like a little leaner cut of meat, chicken breasts work great. If you are hesitant about the dryness factor, go for chicken thighs. They tend to stay a little moister because it has more fat in the meat.
- Vegetables: Good vegetables to chose for a braised chicken stew are heartier roots like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes and corn since it will cook for a while in the oven. Delicate vegetables will not hold up as well to the longer cooking times like green beans or zucchini.
- Seasoning: Aromatic seasoning ingredients to add to the stew are onions, garlic, thyme and some brown sugar to balance the bitterness from the beer.
- Thickening: Flour and tomato paste is added to the stew and is cooked with the braising until the liquid gets lightly thickened. It is then is allowed to continue to cook slowly in the oven, infusing all of the flavors into the stew. Yum!
- Braising: To incorporate big flavor into the stew, the chicken is browned first to create flavor, then cooked slowly in the liquid with vegetables in a closed vessel. The braised dish starts on the stove for the sauteing and then finishes in the oven. The result is a super tender beer-braised chicken stew loaded with flavor and tender vegetables!
Don’t worry, most of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process, so the complex flavors of the brew add more depth to the stew liquid.
Because Ale beers can be slightly bitter, I added some brown sugar to balance those notes. After eating a bowl of this chicken ale stew, I was ready to put on my PJ’s, wrap myself up in a warm fuzzy blanket and get some zzz’s.
If you are looking for more comforting and wholesome meals? Try my white bean and chicken chili or my chicken butternut squash soup. All of these recipes are super healthy and can be prepared in one pot! What kind of beer will you use for you beer-braised chicken stew?
Why do you cook the stew in the oven versus on the stove top?
After starting the chicken ale stew on the stove top to brown the chicken and get the stew liquid simmering, I finished the braising cooking process in the oven at 300°F for about 30 minutes. Make sure to use a heat proof pot! I like to use my Le Creuset dutch oven for cooking the stew in the oven with a tight fitting lid, allows the steam to collect and cook the meat and vegetables slowly and evenly at a consistent temperature. Sometimes there are hotspots under the burners, so you have to check regularly and stir the pot, and it’s harder to control the temperature over time.