Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs with Kale and Polenta Recipe

November 22, 2016


Rinse the chicken thighs in cold water, pat them dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan with a lid or a Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat then add the oil. Place chicken into the pan, skin side down, and cook until the skin is brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the shallots and saute until they’re translucent, 1 to 2 minutes, then add the thyme and beer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Return the chicken thighs to the pot, skin side up, increase the heat slightly to bring the beer to a gentle simmer, then cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in the corn meal, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat, then stir in 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme and 2 tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano.

Add the kale to the chicken, using a spoon to gently submerge it into the liquid. Once the kale has wilted and is bright green (5 to 10 minutes), remove the pan from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon butter and season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken and kale over the polenta, adding some of the delicious pan sauce over each serving.

About this recipe

Total: $12.99 for 4 servings; $3.25 per serving.

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  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (I buy from Baffoni’s Farm)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer, such as Narragansett Lager
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 cup corn meal, such as Kenyon’s stone-ground corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped
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