Beer Braised Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner. Chicken thighs and onions are browned on the stovetop, then baked in a flavorful beer and broth mixture.
BEER BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS
If you’re looking for an easy dinner that’s sure to be a new favorite, then you’ve come to the right place. These chicken thighs come out crispy on the outside with a juicy and tender center. Using skin-on chicken thighs gives you the crispy outside without having to add breading. Plus, the beer adds a tangy flavor that the chicken absorbs beautifully. Giving the chicken time to slowly braise makes fall-off-the-bone meat that you won’t be able to get enough of.
Making this Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs is a simple matter of searing the chicken and the onions on a skillet, then whisking together the beer and chicken broth. Add all the ingredients to your baking dish and let the oven do the rest of the work.
That’s right, all you need as a sauce for this chicken is beer and chicken broth. The beer cooks down in the oven to make a rich sauce to serve with your cooked chicken and mushrooms. It comes out wonderfully juicy and full of warm flavors.
WHAT KIND OF BEER TO USE
The best kind of beer to braise chicken in is a dark beer. A dark stout will work wonderfully, but if you prefer a lighter beer you can use a brown ale or lager. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, use a non-alcoholic beer or double up on the chicken broth.
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HOW TO THICKEN THE BEER SAUCE
The braising liquid will cook down on its own during the cooking time. However, if you’d like to make the sauce thicker and more similar to a gravy, that’s easy to do right before serving your Beer Chicken Thighs.
- Put the cooking liquid in a saucepan.
- Mix in 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Add more chicken broth if needed.
- Continue to whisk the sauce ingredients together until they’re smooth.
- Cook it on the stovetop fro 3-4 minutes until it’s thickened.
ONE-POT BEER CHICKEN
If you want to make this into a one-pot dish, sear the chicken thighs in an oven-safe pot like a dutch oven. After browning the chicken and onions you can add the other ingredients and put the dutch oven straight into the oven to bake the Beer Chicken.
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VARIATIONS ON BEER BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS
- Grilled: To grill chicken thighs, you can prep the chicken in a marinade the night before. Put the beer mixture in a ziplock bag and let the chicken sit in it overnight. When you’re ready to grill remove the chicken from the liquid and grill the chicken thighs as normal. You can use flour to thicken up the marinade and serve it with the grilled chicken as a sauce.
- Cooking liquid: There are lots of different cooking liquids you can braise your chicken with instead of beer. Try using red wine, white wine, or red wine vinegar. You could also mix in a tablespoon or so of barbecue sauce or mustard with the cooking liquid for extra flavor.
- Flavor additions: For some extra flavor in your Beer Braised Chicken Thighs try cooking some minced garlic cloves, chopped shallots, or parsley with it.
- Spice rub: To make a sweet Beer Chicken recipe, try making a brown sugar dry rub. Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon sea salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 2 teaspoons paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 2 teaspoons onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground mustard, and ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to make a sweet and spicy rub. Use a paper towel to pat the chicken dry then add the rub over it. Use your hands to work the rub into the meat, then prepare the dinner as usual. The rub will give your beer chicken some extra sweetness and spice. This rub is also great if you’re grilling the chicken.
INSTANT POT BEER BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS
- Set your instant pot to sauté mode, and add extra virgin olive oil to the base.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then place the chicken skin side down and brown the chicken. You may have to do this in batches.
- Remove the chicken and cook the onions until tender.
- Turn off sauté mode and put the chicken back in the instant pot.
- Add in the mushrooms, beer, broth, and thyme.
- Seal and pressure cook for 11 minutes, then quick release.
SIDE DISHES TO SERVE WITH BEER BRAISED CHICKEN
HOW TO STORE BEER BRAISED CHICKEN THIGHS
- Serve: Don’t leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: You can keep your chicken, mushrooms, and onions in an airtight container in the the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat the meal put it on a baking dish in the oven on low heat.
- Freeze: You can freeze your chicken for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 5 chicken thighs , bone in and skin on
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion , sliced
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms , sliced
- 12 ounces beer
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and add vegetable oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet skin side down.
- Sear the chicken until browned, about 3-4 minutes then flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Remove chicken, lower heat to medium and add in the onions, cooking for 4-5 minutes until translucent.
- Place chicken into baking dish with the onions and mushrooms.
- Mix the beer, broth, spicy brown mustard and dried thyme and pour it over the chicken.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, uncovered until the sauce has cooked down and the chicken is browned and crispy.