Chicken & Rice Stew
Despite the days stretching out, there’s still plenty of bite in the air to force your hand to stews and broths in the kitchen at this time of year. We all know what cracking bedfellows stews and beers are, but we normally lean toward Beef, Lamb and Dark ales. Chicken Stew is also a good match for golden ales, as long as you stay on the sweeter side. So here’s my recipe for a super-simple one-pot Chicken & Rice Stew. This recipe serves four, or two for two days.
In a large stock pot, slowly sweat one whole Leek and four peeled and diced Carrots. When the carrots are soft, add two pints of chicken stock, and four chicken thighs (with legs). Let these simmer for about 25 minutes, then remove the thighs and legs. Once these have cooled, pull (with your fingers, there’s no other way around it!) all the meat off, and return to the broth. The skin won’t really be worth eating, but if you want to add it in, then do.
Pour in 200g of Rice – use the type you’d use for Paella; Arborio or Bomba, if you can get it – they’ll fluff up and thicken the broth. Now, all you need to is season the broth with a little Salt, one crushed Garlic clove, white Pepper, fresh, chopped Thyme and Rosemary. Stir, then leave to simmer on a low heat for another 30 minutes.
Like I mention above, sweet Golden ales go well with these thick, savoury broths.I enjoyed Coniston’s Bluebird XB (4.2% abv) with the broth this time; it’s toffee-sweet in the body; just teetering on the edge of too sweet, rescued by a crisp bite and robust kick of flavour that’s worthy of the landscape from whence it came. Tempered with this easy-going broth, there’s plenty to be happy about, even if the weather outside is still frightful.