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Chicken & Rice Stew

IMG_1363Despite 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.

074 (2)That, basically, is that – I told you it was easy. By not making the stock, you’re shaving a load of simmering time off it;  I’ve done both and to be honest, not been that aware of the difference.

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.

National Winter Ales Festival 2012: The Winners

 

 

OK, just a quick one to spread the word about the proud winners of the National Winter Ales Festival that’s just been held in Manchester this week.

Cornish brewer Driftwood took top prize with  Alfie’s Revenge – it’s refreshing to see a beer that’s travelled so far take the top accolade. Honourable mentions also go to Cairngorm, Coniston and Hammerpot. Anyway, here are the winners in full:

Old Ales and Strong Milds category
Gold- Driftwood, Alfie’s Revenge (St Agnes, Cornwall)
Joint Silver- Nant, Mwnci Nell (Llanrwst, Conwy)
Joint Silver- Brunswick, Black Sabbath (Derby, Derbyshire)
Bronze- Beowulf, Dark Raven (Brownhills, Staffordshire)

Porters category
Gold- Hammerpot, Bottle Wreck Porter (Poling, West Sussex)
Silver- Blythe, Johnson’s (Hamstall Ridware, Staffordshire)
Bronze- Sulwath, Black Galloway (Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway)

Stouts category
Gold- Cairngorm, Black Gold (Aviemore, Highlands)
Silver- Cambridge Moonshine, Black Hole Stout (Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire)
Bronze- Acorn, Gorlovka (Wombwell, South Yorkshire)

Barley Wines category
Gold- Coniston, No 9 Barley Wine (Coniston, Cumbria)
Silver- Moor, Old Freddy Walker (Pitney, Somerset)
Bronze- Isle of Skye, Cuillin Beast (Uig, Isle of Skye)

OVERALL result
Gold- Driftwood, Alfie’s Revenge (St Agnes, Cornwall)
Silver- Cairngorm, Black Gold (Aviemore, Highlands)
Bronze- Coniston, No 9 Barley Wine (Coniston, Cumbria)

I couldn’t get the time this week to attend – which is a shame as I always enjoy it – but here’s an excellent account of the day from Beersay.

 

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