My husband, Mr Greedy Frog, is a lager snob. He likes premium German lager, and doesn’t care much for most of the run-of-the-mill brands commonly found in shops and pubs.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, I feel the need to tell you that he isn’t a snob about anything else; we are after all talking about a working-class lad from Cumbria, here. But I digress.
Anyway, against his better judgement, and in a laudable but misguided bid to save money, he bought some cheap lager the other week. And he really didn’t like it.
Now, this is where I come in. I have mentioned before that I don’t like waste, so there was no way this lager was ending up down the sink (sorry, sink!). Sadly, I don’t drink lager, I can’t stand the stuff. As a cooking ingredient however, I think it is rather brilliant.
I like to use it in bread, waffle batter, stews, you name it. In this instance, I had a chicken whose initial destiny was to end up roasted. Well, now it was going to drown in lager… (this wasn’t meant to sound sinister).
You will need (for 4):
1 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 heads fresh garlic (optional)
1 litre lager
In a pan large enough to hold the chicken, heat up the olive oil, then gently fry the chopped vegetables for a couple of minutes.
Season the chicken cavity, and add to the pan with the garlic. Pour the lager on top (make sure it almost covers the chicken, add a bit more if needed).
Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour, turning the chicken after 30 min.
This is ready when the chicken is cooked through and the cooking liquid has significantly reduced.
The garlic heads will be nice and tender and ready to be spread on some fresh bread.
You can serve this with pilau rice and a quick mustard sauce:
In a small pan, quickly fry a chopped spring onion, add a large ladleful of cooking liquid from the chicken, boil for a minute then add 1 tbsp French mustard and 1 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche. Heat through, add some chopped parsley and take off the heat.