Monday, September 20, 2010

Beer Braised Chicken Tacos

This whole "end of summer" thing is really starting to get to us. Last weekend we had Dan and Jen over for a creative tacos and a movie night that had us eating long after dark. As the movie ended we went through that whole kinda lazy it-was-great-to-have-you-over routine and checked the time to see just how late it was. We all had things we wanted to do the next morning so we looked, wondering would it be 11:30? 12:30? 1? We hadn't been keeping track, but with such a late dinner it had to have been at least 2am. Strange that all of our watches agreed that it was only 8:30. 8:30?! We couldn't believe it, the sun had been down for so long already, it seemed like it should be significantly later than it was. Seems like the Earths tilt is at it again, making for a very surreal night. In an attempt to make the best of it, Eric and Dan promptly declared video game time and launched into a focused battled of virtual hockey. Charisse and Jen declared them "silly boys" and went to the back room to talk and watch TV. Many hockey games and one long conversation later it was actually 12:30 and we all said our good-byes for real and retired to let dinner finish digesting, and what a dinner it had been. See, we're huge taco fans in general and Eric's been working on putting together his own taco seasoning for when we occasionally get caught without our trusty Costco mix. We were looking around for ideas on what to make and came across a nice braised chicken and thought this might be a winner. Now if Julia Child had been from Latin America, her famous beef bourguignon might have ended up looking like this instead. 

Beer Braised Chicken TacosWhat You Will Need
6 whole chicken legs
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
8 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 large white onion (diced)
1 large jalapeno (seeded and sliced lengthwise)
1 tomato (diced)
1 ancho chile (seeded and chopped)
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 bottles of dark Mexican beer
2 cups water
12 small tortillas
2 Tbs sesame seeds
2 avocados ( sliced)
a handful of fresh cilantro (coarsely chopped)
lime slices

Salt and pepper the chicken and heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat until sizzling.  Brown the chicken, working in batches, on both sides and set aside.  In the same pot, brown the onions, garlic, bay, and jalapeno over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add in the tomato, ancho chile, and cinnamon, and stir until the tomato gives up it's juices. 

Return the chicken  to the pot and add the beer and water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until the chicken is extremely tender.  Once ready, transfer the chicken to a plate and let cool.  Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves from the sauce and using a inversion blender or a traditional blender, puree the sauce until smooth. Return to stove top and boil down more than half until the sauce is thick.  Season with salt and pepper.

Shred the chicken meat and discard any bones, and skin.  Return the shredded meat to the sauce, mix and heat through.  Spoon chicken into warm tortillas, top with avocado slices, cilantro, fresh lime juice and sesame seeds. 

adapted from Food & Wine magazine 


  1. I think I want to eat at your house. These look great and your photographs are totally beautiful. And I love the title of your blog, too. :-)

  2. Ok, I am saying it, Damn that looks good!

    E.A.T. local E.A.T. well

  3. This looks so heavenly delicious! And for tacos they seem to be quite healthy, which is always a plus in my book.

  4. Wow that looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing! YUM

  5. I like this technique for cooking chicken, looks fabulous!

  6. These do look like fantastic taco. Can't go wrong braising them in beer! Glad you had such a lovely night with friends!

  7. It must have been heavenly leftovers.

  8. I like making beer-poached chicken tacos because i think they are so much more flavorful! These also make great leftovers for nachos or quesadillas!

  9. made me hungry:))
    Love love love it.

  10. Anything that's cooked in beer gets my vote. Love tacos so we're going to have to try this one with some good Turkish beer.

  11. Ohh..yum. They look terrific! I wish I could reach into the screen and grab them out!

  12. My boyfriend is going to love this recipe! Your story made me laugh, especially because we have friends (also Dan and Jen) that we do stuff with and that totally happens to us too!! its sad.but funny too :)

  13. This is definitely worth trying. The chicken looks amazing and flavors I can taste in my mind. Never have braised chicken in beer before. Gonna go play!

  14. damn :) chicken braised in beer sounds good! i tried cooking shrimps in beer before and boy, they're really delish. i'm sure this chicken dish is just as fabulous :)

  15. I love cooking with George Killians, it's my favorite beer hands down. Now I have another recipe to add to my collection of beer recipes.

    Below are two of my favorite recipes with beer:

  16. My husband puts beer in his chili, but we have never beer braised chicken, but it sounds wonderful, and I bet the kitchen smells good, too.