Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Braised chicken in dubbel with leeks

Last weekend I decided to try out a recipe of Sean Paxton’s, the guy who bills himself online and via the Brewing Network as “the homebrew chef.” I’ve been hearing good things about his recipes for a while so I thought it was time to take the plunge and try one out.

I picked one of the simpler ones to start off with (chicken braised in dubbel with leeks), as I don’t enjoy following recipes as much as you’d figure a homebrewer would. Of course, even with a simpler recipe, I ended up making a few variations. First, I used the dubbel I brewed last spring, Chasseur de Bruin, instead of Westmalle’s dubbel. I went with olive oil instead of duck fat (can you even buy duck fat??) and used roughly twice the recommended heavy cream (whipping cream is exactly what I used) and chicken broth.

I’d never cooked with leeks before. They are essentially onions. Here is a video demonstrating how to clean and cut them:

Another first for me: I’d never purchased and cut up a whole chicken before as the recipe describes, so I was happy to find that Cub Foods had whole chickens cut into eigths sections (ninths if you count the guts/spine that you just throw away). Not sure if I would do that again were I to repeat this recipe. I may just use chicken breasts. I very much liked the drumsticks and breast meat (though not prying the breasts off the bone) but the thighs or whatever the two parts of dark meat were at the bottom were really fatty and there wasn’t much meat on the wings, of course. I know dark meat is supposed to be that way but with all the heavy cream (that I didn’t have to add), I felt like this recipe – while extremely flavorful – was extremely unhealthy as well. Maybe that’s just how it works.

Here are some pics I took while cooking:

At this point, the chicken had been seasoned and coated with flower, then braised in the pot, then set aside. Just now adding in the other ingredients.

In goes the dubbel! Next, the chicken.

The dish sat nicely over a bed of sweet potato fries and the dubbel imparted a lot of flavor, especially when dinner was accompanied by the same beer. 🙂 You'll notice I forgot to take a picture until my food was nearly gone. It was truly that good. I definitely recommend this recipe.

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One response

  1. Pingback: Ho ho holidays « Barking Dog Beer

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