Wheat Beer Braised Chicken with Marmalade – An Affair to Remember

Spring is turning to summer, I can feel it.  I remember lazy Saturdays and late sunsets.  Picnics and peaches.  Ice-cold Bavarian wheat beer with a wedge of orange.
I didn’t have an orange but I had kumquat marmalade, beer and chicken.  It seemed dangerous, but it could be a match made in heaven.  Like some sort of forbidden British-Bavarian love affair.

MEET
This affair of flavors couldn’t happen quietly.  They needed to be treated with boldness.  No apologies.

The marinade, in all of it’s flavorful glory, was not disposed of before cooking.  First it flavored the meat, was used as a braising liquid, and then reduced into a rich sauce.

In the end, although I tossed and turned through the night, worried the ingredients would combat one another, I witnessed a beautiful marriage of sweet and spice.  I think this will be a good summer.

Wheat Beer Braised Chicken with Marmalade
(serves 5)
– 5 chicken thighs, bone-in
– 1 bottle wheat beer (12 ounces)
– 3 tablespoons marmalade
– 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 medium onion or 1/2 large spanish onion, chopped
– 3 bay leaves
– 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon pepper
– 1 tablespoon butter
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
Spread onion, bay leaf and crushed red pepper in a large casserole dish and layer chicken thighs in a single layer on top.  Spread marmalade and pour Worcestershire sauce on each piece of chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour entire bottle of beer into casserole dish.  Cover and marinate over night.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Carefully remove each chicken thigh from marinade and place skin side down on paper towel to dry.  Add olive oil to large frying pan over medium high heat.  Sear chicken, skin side down, for 4 minutes or until skin is a deep, golden brown.  Place chicken (skin side up) along with any cooking juices back into casserole with marinade.  Place uncovered casserole in oven for approximately 50 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and set aside to rest.  Pour marinade from casserole into sauce pan over medium high heat and reduce by half.  Stir in butter.  Pour reduced marinade over chicken and serve.

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