Thursday, April 12, 2007

Beer-braised Chicken Stew with Fava Beans and Peas

  • 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (I omitted this as those are expensive, and it still tastes and smells good)
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt
  • 1 cup shelled fava beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound button mushrooms halved
  • 8 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • One 12-ounce bottle belgian beer
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream.
  • 1/4 cup coarsley chopped flat parsley.

In a small skillet, toast the anise seeds over moderate heat, shaking the skillet until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let the seeds cool slightly, and then crush with the side of a knife.

In a mini food processor, combine the seeds, garlic, saffron (if using), paprika, anc cayenne. Add the lemon juice and puree. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl and stir in 1/2 cup olive oil.. Ad dthe chicken thighs and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

While the chicken is marinating, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add salt and the fava beans, and cook for one minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to a small bowl and cool slightly. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the peas. Peel the fava beans and add to the peas.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large enameled cast-iron casserole. Remove the chicken thighs from the marinade, scraping off the excess. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and cook over moderatley high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.

Wipe out the casserole, add the butter and heat until melted. Add the mushrooms, sliced scallions, and cook over moderate heat sirring occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms, and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the beer, and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the casserole.

Return the chicken thighs to the casserole and season wth salt and black pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add the cream, fava beans, and peas, increase the heat to moderate, and cook uncovered until the sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs.

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