I'm the first to admit that this does not look particularly appealing but you'll have to trust me. It's a fantastic dish, really easy and tastes delicious. It's a staple in our house.
The origins of the dish are slightly obscure but the general consensus is that it comes from Belgium. Be that as it may, it's a very common dish in northern Italy and this recipe comes from my father-in-law, Giuseppe who's been cooking it for years.
Be careful with the beer you use. I used to make it with whatever I had to hand but some beers, particularly standard lagers, leave a decidedly bitter taste when cooked. The one that I've found works best is Leffe but some real ales work well too.
RECIPE - Serves 3-49 chicken pieces, thighs and drumsticks work well here
500 ml beer - read note above
Plain flour for dusting chicken
1 stick celery
Salt and pepper
Chop the onion, celery and carrot very finely (I usually just pulse them in a food processor). Then fry gently in a little oil for about 5 mins until softened. Remove the vegetables to a plate.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dust the chicken with flour, knocking off any excess.
Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the chicken until golden brown on all sides.
Put the vegetables back in the pan with the chicken. Pour in the beer (it won’t cover the chicken completely), put a lid on and cook gently for about 35 mins.
When the 35 mins are up, remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced. Check the seasoning.
Serve the chicken with the sauce poured over, a crisp green salad on the side and lots of crusty bread for mopping up the sauce.