Slightly bitter and with a deep coffee-like flavor, porter, a very dark ale, makes this braise rustic and hearty. Porter’s toastiness plus the sweetness of root vegetables and the spiciness of Dijon mustard creates a stew full of contrasting, but harmonious, flavors.
Porter-Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, about 3 1/2 lb. (1.75 kg) total
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. canola oil
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus 5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
2 red potatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
1 celery root, about 14 oz. (440 g), peeled, trimmed, halved and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks
2 bottles (12 fl. oz./375 ml each) porter
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) chicken broth
2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) all-purpose flour
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken thighs, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Pour off the fat in the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium and melt the 2 Tbs. butter. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and celery root, and stir in the porter, broth, sugar, mustard, tomato paste and thyme.
Return the chicken thighs to the pot, submerging them in the liquid, and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
In a heatproof bowl, mash together the 5 Tbs. butter and the flour to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk about 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) of the hot cooking liquid into the flour-butter mixture, and then stir this mixture into the pot. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve. Serves 4.
Find more simple one-dish dinners in our cookbook One Pot of the Day by Kate McMillan.