Pollo a la Cerveza – Chicken Cooked in Beer

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Meal course
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5 tbspn
330 ml
can or bottle of dark beer
Red pepper, diced
Garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
Onion, peeled and diced
Carrots, peeled and chopped into inch-sized pieces
2 tbspn
pieces of chicken (breasts, drumsticks, thighs or a mixture)
1 to serve
Pollo a la Cerveza – Chicken Cooked in Beer

Although not immediately recognisable as a Latin American dish, this recipe combines two of the continent’s (and the world’s!) most loved ingredients: chicken and beer. This alone makes it a legitimate choice for the beginning of our journey into Latin American cuisine.

I first tried this delightful combination in Guatemala. And boy, was it a delight. There are many variations of ‘pollo a la cerveza’. I even found two websites solely dedicated to such recipes! The recipe below is adapted from polloalacerveza.net. It uses easily sourced ingredients to make a dish that will be to anyone’s taste, even to those with the a more conservative taste. So whether you’re trying to convert someone special to share your love for Latin American cuisine, or just fancy eating chicken with a twist, this dish is a great first choice.

The recipe uses a cerveza negra (dark larger). However, if dark beers are not your preference, just use a standard one. You could even try it with your preferred micro beer of choice; just remember to let us know which worked the best.

Serves 4, with one piece of chicken per person. Adjust according how hungry you’re feeling.

  1. Start by preparing the chicken: sprinkle a dash of salt on each piece then lightly cover all over with flour
  2. Heat two tbs of oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan. When hot, carefully add the floured chicken pieces and fry for 15 minutes, until browned
  3. While the chicken is cooking, cut up the vegetables
  4. When the chicken is browned, transfer to a plate with kitchen paper to absorb some of the oil and let sit. Add the diced onion to the pan with the oil and stir well before adding the carrot. Fry for another minute then add the garlic and pepper. Fry for approximately 3-4 minutes, stirring
  5. Add a tbs of flour to the pan to coat the vegetables, this will help to thicken the sauce as it cooks
  6. Place the chicken pieces back in the pan among the bed of vegetables. Gently pour the beer over the pieces of chicken
  7. Cook over a medium heat for another 30 minutes until the meat is cooked (the juices should run clear if tested with a knife) and the carrots are soft. Turn the chicken over after about 15 minutes so it cooks through on both sides. From time to time spoon some of the sauce of the pieces of chicken while simmering
  8. When ready, add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with boiled white rice or accompanied by Arroz Guatemalteco (see Xelawho’s recipe Oct 2014’s recipe)

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