Chicken & chicory with Belgian blonde ale - Back in the Saddle

Hayden Groves

Hayden Groves

12th January 2018
Hayden Groves

Chicken & chicory with Belgian blonde ale - Back in the Saddle

Belgian food is often rich with cream and butter, and is among some of the most underrated in Europe.
And as for Belgian beer, well — need we say more?


  • Ingredients: Serves 4
  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range chicken, jointed
  • 2 tbsps flour, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 12 baby onions
  • 1 large carrot
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 330ml Belgian blonde ale
  • 2 white chicory heads, halved lengthways
  • 1 pinch caster sugar
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tbsps chopped parsley
  • sea salt and black pepper


Dust the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and brown thoroughly in a thick-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat with a good glug of olive oil.
Meanwhile prepare the vegetables: peel the baby onions, leaving a little stalk on to keep them whole; peel and thickly slice the carrot.
When the chicken is browned add half the butter, the onions, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Add the beer and allow this to reduce by half, scraping the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Place a lid or cover the pan tightly with foil and cook very gently for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle the chicory halves with caster sugar, heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and over a medium heat fry them, cut side down, for 2-3 minutes until they are a light golden colour. Flip over and cook on the reverse for a minute, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 140°C/275°F/gas mark 1. Transfer the chicken to a casserole dish, add the chicory, cream and buttery stock juices and cook for a further 30 minutes until the chicken is very tender. Add the chopped parsley, check the seasoning and serve in a warmed dish with crusty bread to mop up the sauce, and a few chilled Belgian beers.

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