Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

November 1, 2010

Chicken Braised in Beer With Belgian Endives

A Labor of Love

“Tastes better than any coq au vin,” said George. Reward enough for the effort in preparing this dish, inspired by Ruth Van Warebeek’s “Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook.” Make no mistake, this is the kind of labor intensive dish, I used to prepare in my Julia Child’s heydays. To start with, I bought a whole chicken, something I hadn’t done in ages. I trimmed the chicken pieces of excess fat and put the chicken wings and back aside for making stock. As I went on to brown, braise, and cook the dish, I wasn’t at all sure about the outcome. But by the time I had reduced the sauce, magic had happened: the endives had all but melted; he sauce was rich and full of flavor.

Menu

Braised Chicken with Endives
Mixed Salad
Beer: (George) Duval
Wine: (Helen) Côtes du Rhône Delas, 2008
Dessert: Muscat Grapes


Prepping
1 chicken, cut into serving pieces, patted dry
Salt and pepper
Flour to coat
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 Belgian endives, cored and halved
2 teaspoons sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1/2cup of Belgian beer, such as Duval
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dust lightly with flour. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy Dutch oven and brown the chicken pieces on all side. Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

Sprinkle the endives with sugar, add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the endives to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the shallots and cook for about 2 minutes to soften.

Cooking
Place the chicken pieces over the vegetables, add the beer. Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken. Raise heat and boil the sauce to reduce by about half. Adjust seasoning. When ready to serve, arrange the chicken pieces on a plate, spoon sauce over it, and sprinkle with parsley.

I gained a new respect for endives, a hitherto loser vegetable in my mind. Having braised the endivews, I know better now: endive is a winner.

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