Friday 3 April 2015

Coq à la Bière (Chicken and Beer Stew) with Onion Pilaf

Bonjour from France! It is our first time in France with the caravan but we haven't headed far, just a little south of Calais so I must try cooking some traditional North West France dishes. Coq au vin is the obvious one but we are giving coq à la bière a go. You can use any beer but as I have planned something with dark heavy beer later in the trip I'm going to use a light lager. We went to Saint Omer today to visit La Coupole so for us it has to be Saint Omer beer for this dish.

You can use any chicken you like but as we are in France we are having the traditional cockerel. The butcher here doesn't speak English but he managed to get across that poule is a female hen and poulet is the rooster, so we've got poulet a la Saint Omer with a simple onion pilaf.

This photo was taken before going in the oven. Those wing tips were sacrificed as they burned in the hot top of the oven.


2x Bottles of beer, we used big 750ml bottles of Saint Omer
1x Chicken, cut into pieces
1x onion, diced
2x Carrots, peeled and diced
Mushrooms chopped into quarters
2x Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2x Tablespoons of brown sugar
2x Tablespoons of Dijon mustard
2x bay leaves
1 Teaspoon of dried thyme
Chicken stock cube

For the pilaf:

1 Cup of long grain rice
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Cups of vegetable stock


1. In a good sized stew pot put the carrots, mushrooms, garlic, sugar, mustard and thyme.
2. In a separate frying pan sweat off the onion until translucent then add to the stew.
3. Dust the chicken in flour, season then brown in the frying pan. Do this in batches and set aside.
4. Deglaze the frying pan with 1 bottle of beer. Crumble in the stock cube and season with salt and pepper. Add the hot beer stock to the stew.
5. Give it a good mix then add the chicken. I recommend putting the wings on the top as they will burn right at the top of the caravan oven and you want to protect the leg and breast meat.
6. Add the bay leaves then put uncovered in the oven on gas mark 5. It will take about 1.5 hours.
7. Drink the other bottle of beer.
8. Make the pilaf by sweating off the onion in butter in a saucepan until translucent.
9. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes.
10. Add the stock, season then cover and leave it on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
11. Remove the skin from the chicken and plate up! You could remove the skin prior to cooking but I think it adds more flavour (and fat!).

1 comment: