This beer-braised chicken with Sriracha is my Asian take on a French classic, coq à la bière. In Alsace, chicken and onions gets braised in a nutty brown ale until meltingly tender; I decided to apply the same cooking methods for this dish. Adding Sriracha hot sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil enhances the mild sweetness and nuttiness of the braising liquid. This is perfect hearty dish for cold winter nights!
One of the first dinners I made in my first Park Slope apartment two years ago was this beer-braised chicken. It was November, and unseasonably frigid weather and cold gusts of wind outside made I crave something meaty, hearty, and comforting. Spiciness was a bonus.
Inspired both by coq à la bière and a Martin Yan recipe for beer-braised duck, I wanted to make a braised chicken with brown ale and Sriracha. I needed a robust sort of beer to withstand the Sriracha that will go in my sauce, so I stopped in Biercraft on 5th Ave., a little wonderland of craft beers. The guy behind the counter recommended Avery Brewing Co.'s Ellie's Brown Ale, which has a lot of nuttiness, sweetness, and chocolate malt character. And, he added, it won't become bitter when boiled down like some other brown ales. Turns out, it's also great for sipping while you prepare the chicken.
The suggested amounts of Sriracha will result in a mildy spicy dish, which I like because the other flavors don't get overwhelmed. And the method to making this is similar to that for my other braised chicken dishes like Chicken Adobo and Vietnamese Chicken Curry: searing until the skin is crisp and golden, then braising until very tender. It's an easy way to get your kitchen (and maybe even your entire apartment) nice and toasty, even as temperatures drop and winds howl outside.
Beer-Braised Chicken with Sriracha
- 2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks with skin
- 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
- 8 cremini mushrooms, stems discarded and caps quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon white sesame seeds
- 1 cup dark brown ale (preferably a nutty one with a good amount of sweetness)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha
- 1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- With a paper towel, pat the excess moisture from the chicken on all sides (otherwise, watch out for splattering oil when you sear the meat.)
- In a Dutch oven, pot, or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear the chicken skin-side down until the skin is light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Mix together the ingredients for the sauce. Return the chicken to the pot and pour the sauce over the chicken. Add the scallion whites and mushrooms. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and allow everything to simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is very tender and the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Carefully transfer everything to a large serving dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds and scallion greens on top. Serve hot with rice or vegetables on the side.
Recipe first posted Nov 4, 2010, revised November 26, 2012.