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Chicken and Beer Summer Stew

Chicken and Beer Summer Stew3

Recently I read a response that a famous food personality had to the aggressive criticism of what is arguable to the worst food show on TV. She said that people who expect American households to cook with real, whole, unprocessed ingredients just don’t understand how real US households function, that it isn’t realistic to expect people to cook food that isn’t mostly can-and-box, defrost-and-feed type food.

I can’t underscore enough how much I not only disagree with this mentality, but how that line of thinking devalues food and the abilities of working America. I grew up in a family of ten, a family that was pay check to pay check on our best months, I’m not naive to what American households face when it comes to limited time and money.

Chicken and Beer Summer Stew2

I also have more faith in America, in food, and the resources we all have access to that can empower people to cook for their families in ways that don’t necessitate can openers and microwaves. The mentality that the best we can do is a jazzed up Hungry Man and a can of apple pie filling in the middle of a pre-made cake is demeaning. We can do better, regardless of budget. Corn is inexpensive, it’s easy to grow herbs in even the windowsill of an apartment, and inexpensive meat like chicken thighs have more flavor than their light meat counterparts. We can buy vegetables in season, when they are the least expensive, and freeze batches for months. We have options and abilities that extent far past what may be expected of us. Some of the best food I’ve ever had was handmade food in the poorest parts of the world, made with simple, inexpensive ingredients. America isn’t old enough to have  a rich culinary history, but it isn’t too late to start building one that doesn’t begin with yelling a food order out of a car window into a metal speaker.

We can do this, I have faith in us.

Chicken and Beer Summer Stew


Chicken and Beer Summer Stew

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper julienned
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into coins
  • 1 shallot minced about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 cup white ale
  • 1 ear of corn
  • ½ cup shelled English peas
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 leaves of basil sliced into ribbons
  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread for serving


  • Heat olive oil in an enamel cast iron pot or Dutch oven.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken cubes.
  • Once the oil is hot but not smoking add the chicken, cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from pot.
  • Add red peppers, carrots and shallots (plus additional oil if the pan is dry), cook until vegetables have started to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Sprinkle with flour, add the beer, scrapping to deglaze the pot, making sure the flour is well combined without lumps.
  • Add the chicken back into the pot along with the corn and peas.
  • Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, cover with the lid at a vent and allow to simmer for ten minutes.
  • Stir in the lemon juice, remove from heat.
  • Stir in the cream, turmeric, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with basil.
  • Serve with bread.

Chicken and Beer Summer Stew5

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Louise June 21, 2013 um 5:07 am

I totally agree, Jackie. I wonder sometimes whether some of those TV food personalities express their opinions in hopes that we see it their way and patronize their source of income.

America may be young but I feel we have a rich culinary history that is forever adapting to a multitude of cultures.

Chicken and Beer, Oh yea! A bit confused by the addition of heavy cream in this dish but oh so intrigued too!

Thank you so much for sharing…

P.S. I’ve been a Pinterest lurker for a while now. Thought it was high time I introduced myself:) Louise


Jackie June 21, 2013 um 12:02 pm

Hello and welcome! The cream acts as a thickener and gives it a creamier taste.


Tieghan June 21, 2013 um 5:23 am

I loved reading you thought and could not agree more. I also love this stew and think it is something my family of 9 would love!


Bree (Skinny Mommy) June 21, 2013 um 8:42 am

Nice post and this dish looks easy and delicious. I am curious what the show is?!


Jackie June 21, 2013 um 9:40 am

Goggle "edible hate crime" and that will give you a clue 😉


Sloane @ Life Food and Beer June 21, 2013 um 10:45 am

I hear people say stuff like this all the time. I don’t have time to cook! It’s easier to buy packed food. It’s really sad people feel this way. I can made homemade chicken tenders in less time then you can the packed ones and they cost a lot less!


Maria June 21, 2013 um 11:02 am

I agree with you 100%! It’s embarrassing that this show (and unfortunately a few others like it) are even on tv. Even as a graduate student living in an expensive city on a limited budget, I manage to eat healthy without breaking my bank every month. I often post pictures of dishes I make and people seem to wonder how I can afford to eat like that. I’m pretty savvy and buy veggies & fruit in season and buy my proteins on sale and sometimes freeze them for later use. People would do well to learn how to butcher a whole chicken as it’s often cheaper than the individual parts! As both a craft beer and food lover I absolutely LOVE your blog! I look forward to reading your posts and can’t wait to try out some of these recipes. Keep up the awesome work 🙂


Jackie June 21, 2013 um 2:25 pm

I totally agree, whole chickens are amazing. It’s about $5 and it feeds a family with leftovers. Everyone who has the times to roast a chicken should give it a try, especially on a limited budget!


Karen Marie June 21, 2013 um 2:17 pm

Yeah, Jackie!

I feel the same way. DH and I enjoy cooking "real" food at home. We don’t make a huge amount of money but we buy as local as possible. I shop the local farmer’s markets, joined a local CSA, buy whole local pastured chickens. I have a small garden and I’m learning to can some of the things that we grow.

Don’t get me wrong, we enjoy the occasional take out pizza or Chinese food, but if you were to look in my pantry, 'fridge or freezer you won’t find much boxed, canned or frozen "convenience foods".

We’ve LOVED all of the recipes that we tried from your blog and can’t wait for your book.

Thank you for everything you do.


Jackie June 21, 2013 um 3:15 pm

I love pizza and Chinese food! It’s not so much about NEVER eating packaged food as it is about someone saying that we aren’t capable of making real food if we have a limit budget. I think we have a responsibility to help others see what they are capable of rather than try to convince them they can’t do better than premade food.


Happy Valley Chow June 21, 2013 um 6:43 pm

Great job! Sounds like a delicious and hearty soup. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Happy Blogging!
Happy Valley Chow


Kiran @ June 23, 2013 um 2:21 pm

Mmm… i need this stew in my life!! And definitely one of those enamel pots!


Brad June 24, 2013 um 7:23 am

Made this last night for my gf and I and had enough leftovers for us both to take some for lunch this week. This is really excellent. We halved the amount of chicken and doubled some of the veggies, which was actually an awesome call. Great recipe Jackie, thanks!


Jackie June 24, 2013 um 9:00 am

Thanks Brad. Glad you liked it!


Belinda @themoonblushbaker June 24, 2013 um 9:58 am

Totally love the summer veg in this stew. Could the chicken be replaced by another starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro) to make it veggie?


Jackie June 24, 2013 um 10:58 am

Probably. I haven’t done it, but I would try mushrooms.


dishing up the dirt June 24, 2013 um 10:07 pm

amen! local farmers, educated communities, and the celebration of "real" food is what it’s all about. There are no excuses!
Lovely meal!


Ashley – Baker by Nature June 25, 2013 um 9:52 am

I love you, and this post! More people need to write things like this. I grew up in a family of four with a single mother trying to feed us all, plus keep a roof over our heads and keep our clothes up to date. Not easy; but she did it well. I love this recipe, and it’s something I can definitely see us making and living off for a few meals!


Des @ Life’s Ambrosia June 25, 2013 um 2:04 pm

I LOVE this post. We rarely have much in the way of processed food in our house, mostly snacks. Our meals though I almost always make everything from scratch. Yes, it’s a little time consuming but I know what is in it and it tastes SO much better.
This stew by the way looks fantastic, who would’ve thought of a stew in the summer 🙂


nisha June 27, 2013 um 1:16 pm

Hi, Can I skip the heavy cream? Is there somethign else I can use?


Jackie June 27, 2013 um 5:14 pm

YOu can skip it or use whole milk. It’s slightly more bitter without it.


cristina June 29, 2013 um 6:07 am

Iam very happy to make this. It was easy and very good. served with rice more than enough for 4 people.


Jessica July 28, 2013 um 9:30 am

This sounds great! Should the corn kernels be cooked or raw when they are added?


Jackie July 28, 2013 um 1:39 pm

Raw. Just cut them off the cob


Alison September 5, 2013 um 11:54 am

What type of ale did you use? I am not a big beer drinking but tend to always have Bud Light at the house for the guys.


Jackie September 5, 2013 um 1:56 pm

A white ale is a wheat beer, similar to a hefeweizen. Look for a wheat beer for this.


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