Chef Paul Kahan is a genius, says Andrew Putz in Food & Wine. He’s also just a regular guy. The proof is that he “regularly goes ice fishing and refers to himself and his partners as ‘knuckleheads.’ ’’ In 1999, Kahan was named this magazine’s best new chef. Not surprisingly, his Chicago restaurant, Blackbird, serves up food that is both “straightforward and brilliant.” Kahan is now set to open a new, as yet unnamed “gastropub” that will give beer the same culinary attention as wine. This luscious
dish pairs beautifully with a dark brew, such as the “rich, mildly sweet, Belgian-style Pere Jacques.”
Recipe of the week
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Beer-Braised Chicken Stew
With Fava Beans and Peas
2 tbsp anise seeds
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp loosely packed saffron threads
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp pure olive oil
8 skinless chicken thighs
1 cup shelled fava beans
1/2 cup fresh peas, preferably English peas
Freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb button mushrooms, halved
8 scallions, thinly sliced
2 thyme sprigs
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 12-oz bottle Belgian beer
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
In small skillet, toast anise seeds over moderate heat, shaking skillet, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let seeds cool slightly, crush with side of knife. In mini food processor, combine toasted seeds with chopped
garlic, saffron, paprika, and cayenne. Add lemon juice, then purée. Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl, stir in 1/2 cup olive oil. Add chicken thighs, turn to coat with marinade. Refrigerate 1 hour.
Meanwhile, bring medium saucepan of water to boil. Add salt and fava beans, cook for 1 minute; using slotted spoon, transfer fava beans to small bowl, let cool slightly. Add peas to boiling water, cook until tender,
5 to 6 minutes; drain. Peel fava beans, add to peas.
Heat remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in large enameled cast-iron casserole. Remove chicken thighs from marinade, scraping off excess. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken thighs to platter.
Wipe out casserole, add butter, heat until melted. Add halved mushrooms, sliced scallions, thyme, cook over moderate heat, stirring
occasionally, until any liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms, cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly stir in beer, bring to boil, scraping any browned bits on bottom of casserole.
Return chicken thighs to casserole, season with salt and black pepper. Cover, simmer over low heat until chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Add cream, fava beans, peas, increase heat to moderate, cook uncovered until sauce has reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard thyme sprigs. Serve chicken stew in shallow
soup bowls, sprinkled with parsley. Serves 8.
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