I wish stews were prettier. I don’t think they’d win a popularity contest for top-of-mind dinners either, but if they were nicer to look at that might help their cause.
They are super satisfying on a cold winter night so it was a no-brainer when my friend Billy, who owns Port City Brewing Company, needed a recipe for a winter dish that used one of his brews, Optimal Wit.
Rather than take the red meat route, I chose chicken thighs, which are flavorful and cook faster than most meats. Then I added some dried ancho chile powder and roasted green chiles. The result: a perfect winter dish even if the weather is mild.
Chile-Infused Chicken Stew
Chicken thighs are the perfect meat for stew. Not as heavy as beef or lamb, but robustly flavorful and they cook quicker too. This chicken stew was made to be matched with Port City Brewing Company’s Optimal Wit, a brew that is crisp and aromatic, with complex citrus and spice flavors that evolve in the glass. Add a loaf of crusty French bread or warm tortillas and you’ve got a hearty meal for a winter’s night.
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon ground ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 pound chorizo sausage
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large red potatoes, skin on and cut into 8 pieces each
4 small carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
One 3.5-ounce can roasted and diced green chiles
2 teaspoons dried oregano
One 12-ounce bottle Optimal Wit
1 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry. Remove any excess fat. Cut into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ancho chile powder, salt and paprika. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, stirring as needed, for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the chicken back to the bowl.
Add the chorizo to the pot and cook until browned, about 3 minutes, breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the bell pepper and onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning.
Add the potatoes, carrots, chiles, oregano, beer and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes until the liquid begins to thicken and the chicken is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.