Monday, October 28, 2013

Mmmm Beer Gravy....

Okay, so it's been over a week since I've wanted to share this recipe.  I have about five reasons as to why I'm just getting to it now, two of which are pretty good ones but I'll spare you the details.  A few weeks back I was chatting with a friend at a soccer game about food and dinners (shocker) and the topic of the o'll Crock Pot came up.  The slow cooker is just so fantastic in theory but I feel like I rarely find a recipe that excites me.  I do have a few posted on this blog but they tend to be a variety of Asian pork or the all time fave of the whole chicken which I re posted from 100 Days of Real Food. This recipe, Slow-Cooker Stout & Chicken Stew from Eating Well does involve a little bit of prep but not too much.  They do give tips at the end of the recipe to do some of the prep ahead to save time in the morning.  There are two things I love about this, there is no canned soup involved and there is canned beer involved.  Who doesn't love an excuse to have an extra Guinness on hand?  OK, maybe a few but just work with me here.  You can click the link above for the recipe and I will include it again at the end.
One of my least favorite things to do is browning meat for a recipe.  I will say however, it is must less annoying to brown a few chicken thighs than to brown some big hunk of pork or beef.  You get some flour for dredging and a little salt and pepper.
Lightly coat your boneless, skinless chicken thighs, shaking off the excess.
Next, of course, comes the browning.  Just heat a little bit of oil in the pan and get to work.
When they're brown, you place them in the bottom of the slow-cooker in as close to a single layer as you can.
Next up, bacon.  Mmmmm.  Bacon.  This is just three slices.  I find it so much easier to cut raw bacon with some kitchen scissors rather than trying to chop it with a knife.  Raw bacon sticks to the knife.  This is quicker and easier if you have them.
Now cook the bacon for a couple of minutes until it starts to crisp up a tad.
Add flour to the bacon and cook a couple of minutes more.
Now you add that can of stout.  Mmmmm.  Stout.  Did you know that Guinness only has 125 calories per serving?  It's really not horrible as far as beer goes.  And this is spread around an entire recipe that makes 8 servings so better yet.
Once you add the stout, stir it up and scrape all the yummy bits off the bottom of the pan.
Then pour it over the chicken in the slow-cooker.
Add garlic and thyme....
carrots (these colorful lovelies are from our garden)....
mushrooms (which I don't particularly like, but I do like the flavor they add to the ensemble)....
(get them all in there on top of that chicken)
And top with chicken stock or broth.  I've been talking a lot lately about reading labels and this is a big one.  You will notice that some brands of stock report "lower sodium" all over the front of the can or carton.  Read the numbers.  Turns out it's just lower than their regular one.  This brand is lower than all of them (in our store anyway).
So that's it.  Put the lid on and let it cook all day.  You can go 4 hours on high or 8 on low which is usually the more convenient option. 
About 10 minutes before serving, add a cup of peas.  Another thing I'm not crazy about but I was a big girl and ate my peas AND mushrooms (thank you very much).
And there it is all finished.  My kids loved this, especially the boy.  The boy who's favorite meal to request is chicken pot pie.  Chicken pot pie takes about three days to make (in my experience...).  I hate making chicken pot pie but luckily this satisfied his craving!  I think next time I'll make some biscuits and that should really do the trick.
We had it over rice with a nice side salad.  So if this looks good click the Eating Well link and get cookin.


  1. Beer gravy sounds like something David would drink straight from the crockpot! ;) Looks like a great recipe for a cold winter day!

  2. I'm all about recipe's for cold winter's days right's getting chilly out there!