The Brickskeller, a restaurant in Washington DC renowned for its beer selection. In keeping with picking some of the easier recipes from the book The Best of American Beer and Food: Pairing & Cooking With Craft Beer, this recipe is fairly simple. It involves some sauteing and deglazing and then baking for an hour. Easy enough.
The really nice thing about this recipe is that it was relatively inexpensive. I bought a whole 4 pound chicken at Carniceria Guanajuato (on Midvale at the Beltline) for $1.50 per pound(!!), 2 cans of artichokes, the remaining half of box of mushrooms from what we used for the stroganoff, less than $2 worth of dried figs, and a six-pack of Anchor Steam. Total cost of this meal was around $20 and it made 2 dinners and 4 lunches for two people (6 meals!). As leftovers it's versatile enough to shred up and make wraps and sandwiches, or finely chop and make ravioli filling, or to mix and match with other foods. Admittedly, the recipe calls for fresh figs; I don't know where you get fresh figs in Madison in March (yes, I know, only make food with ingredients that are in-season - blah, blah) so I used dried figs from Whole Foods.
Following is the recipe, I'll make some comments about it at the end:
1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained
8 oz fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
12 ounces steam beer
2 oz fresh figs, diced
1 Meyer lemon, cut into 6 wedges
Fresh minced parsley
As the chicken browns, transfer the pieces to a large casserole. Set skillet aside. When the bottom of the casserole is covered with chicken, add half the artichokes and half the mushrooms. Add any remaining browned chicken, then the remaining artichokes and mushrooms.
Deglaze the skillet with steam lager and a whisk to emulsify pan drippings. Mix in fresh figs and simmer over medium heat 1 minute, scraping skillet well to mix in all of pan brownings. Pour warm fig-beer over chicken. Cover casserole with foil and bake 50 to 60 minutes or until tender.
Serve with steamed rice, garnish with lemon wedges and minced parsley.
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I really liked this meal. It was easy, it was cheap. It was good. The figs were a unique earthy-raisin-like flavor that I'll be using in more meals. The chicken was moist and flavorful. The artichoke hearts and mushrooms were tender. There are plenty of flavors to go around. My only complaint with this recipe is the use of Anchor Steam, actually. There are quite a few flavors going on here and the Anchor Steam isn't flavorful enough to stand out. It adds some nice sweetness, and brightness is there; but, I can't help thinking that a more ale-like beer would work better - a Belgian Tripel or even a Flemish Sour or Brown or even a simple IPA.