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Chicken Thighs with Rosemary Tomato Beer Sauce

Chicken Thighs in Rosemary Tomato Beer Sauce2

In high school I had a guidance councilor ask me what I thought I would be when I grew up. Not "what do you want to be" but "what do you think you will be," much different questions for a kid, and much more accurate window into the future.

I thought about it for a minute. What do I think I will be? I thought about the way I normally answer the question when it’s phrased the other way, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to help sick animals. But when I was asked where I thought I’d end up, it made me realize that I didn’t even believe that I’d end up as a vet.

I paused for a minute and said I thought I’d have a job that wasn’t invented yet, "You know, something that isn’t included in those check boxes in those forms," was my response. Non-comital, vague, but for the first time, I actually believed my response. He wasn’t so sure. He leaned back in his old wheeled desk chair and looked at me like I was a genuine crazy person.

"Hasn’t been invented? There are jobs that haven’t been invented? Like a robot mechanic?"

Now I got to look at him like he was the genuine crazy person, "I’m pretty sure that robot mechanic exists. And I think the world is changing enough that there are jobs that aren’t invented yet." He quickly dismissed me, apparently I had reached the maximum level of guidance that he had for the day.

I thought about this today, as I was being filmed for a feature-length documentary about the craft beer industry. Among other titles that I hold, I’m a food blogger. A job that had not been invented was I was a freshman in high school. A job that I couldn’t be happier to do. After years of forcing myself into the check boxes on the high school guidance counselors forms, there is an absolute freedom in breaking away from that. A freedom in inventing my own job, and working tirelessly to make it happen.

It took me too many years to chase this dream, and the change happened years after I left that cluttered office in the last semester of my first year of high school.

The change happened when I stopped asking, "Who am I to want a job like that?" and starting asking, "Why not me?"


Chicken Thighs with Rosemary Tomato Beer Sauce

Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup chopped red onions about ½ a large onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup wheat beer
  • 1 14.5 wt oz can diced tomato
  • 1 tbs minced fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped parsley or chives for garnish optional


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
  • Sprinkle the skin of the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Place in a skillet, skin side down until skin has browned and fat has rendered, about ten minutes. Turn over and cook until the bottom has browned.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Transfer chicken to baking sheet, place in oven until sauce is ready, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the onions to the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Cook until slightly reduced about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, rosemary, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken thighs back into the skillet, simmering until chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Sprinkle with parsley or chives before serving, if desired.


Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or pasta

I’m a big fan of this cast iron skillet, it’s amazing and I use it several times a week (affiliate link).

Chicken Thighs in Rosemary Tomato Beer Sauce

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Emily February 19, 2014 um 1:55 am

This has struck a chord with me. Like many other people, I do not enjoy my job. I graduated 8 years ago with a media theory degree and have been stuck in crap jobs that I’ve hated ever since. I will need to undertake some further training or education to be able to move into an area in which I’d really like to work, and there are always reasons not to do this. I guess I really just need to stop finding the reasons not to do it and find the ways to make it happen.


Jackie February 19, 2014 um 9:09 am

I did Job I Didn’t Like for years and even got a Masters degree in it because I thought it would give me more options and make me happier. It took me a while to finally figure out what I wanted to do, what me dream job was and how to get there. I basically did two jobs at the same time for almost 2 years until I was able to do this full time. The hardest part was figuring out what I really wanted, rather than what might make me happier (or more accurately, slightly less miserable). And now I couldn’t be happier and I couldn’t feel more grateful for what I have. It took years to figure out, just don’t stop trying to figure it out. Even if you have a lot of false starts.


Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness February 19, 2014 um 3:48 am

Oh man, I just found your blog and I am in love!
Seriously, all these recipes are going to make my husband one happy man with all that beer! These chicken thighs look delish…I would have never thought of using beer and tomatoes!


Jackie February 21, 2014 um 6:50 am

Thank you so much, Taylor!


DessertForTwo February 19, 2014 um 9:54 am

First, lovely story. What a smug jerk. And look at you now–happy as can be 🙂

Rosemary, beer and tomatoes sound hauntingly delicious together. You have such a knack for flavors! 🙂


Valerie | From Valerie’s Kitchen February 19, 2014 um 10:24 am

I’m in the process of guiding four young men into adult life and think about this ALL the time. The schools push so hard to make them decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives when they are 16 – impossible! Every young person should read this. And, that sauce looks crazy good 🙂


dishing up the dirt February 19, 2014 um 1:03 pm

Cheers to making your dreams come true! I can so relate to this post (most people go to college so they don’t have to be a farmer!) I could not be more thrilled to be digging in the dirt and not working at a job that isn’t a right fit for me. This recipe sounds fantastic too!


Happy Valley Chow February 19, 2014 um 4:43 pm

Goodness gracious that looks absolutely incredible! Great job 🙂

Happy Blogging!
Happy Valley Chow


Penny February 20, 2014 um 4:15 am

My Daughter-in-law did the same thing. With a degree in science and nutrition, she started a wedding invitation business that allows brides to do everything online. She is super successful. So glad that your dreams have come true. You have a wonderful blog.


Noelle February 20, 2014 um 2:32 pm

I loved this story! Thanks for sharing!


Maria G. February 22, 2014 um 11:50 am

All the sauces based on beer are always very light and piquant. I always use beer to make batter for fish for example. Is it possible to substitute fresh tomatoes with fresh ones?


Luke February 26, 2014 um 8:12 am

finally had to comment after trying many of your dishes – did this the other night – was amazing! (as have been all the others i’ve tried)
my butcher didn’t have chicken thighs – so i just replaced bone in chicken breast – still was awesome

thank you!!


Dani May 17, 2014 um 6:01 pm

Just made this last night and its a keeper! Thank you for sharing!! (By the way I had it with Oregon Pinot Noir, it was an incredible pairing. Its cool I found a recipe that incorporates beer that I can enjoy with a bottle of wine.)


Jenn W November 20, 2017 um 4:38 pm

I currently do payroll for a food service trucking company and I never in a million years thought I would wind up there. I was hired on as an administrative assistant to do backup payroll and really took to payroll so I somehow bumbled into the position I have now. That being said, I do love it because of my drivers. They’re hard workers that are some of the kindest people I have ever met. They are the reason I keep coming back every day.

And recipes like this are reasons I keep coming back to your blog! I needed a quick dinner to use some chicken thighs I got in sale and this was my pick. Everyone really enjoyed it. I followed as directed, except that I had no wheat beer so I used Boxer Light (if you Google it, please don’t judge me, it is my husbands "garage beer.") I also tossed in a splash of red wine before I added the chicken to the tomato mixture. It was absolutely fantastic! We served it over Parmesan cous cous and both of my kids ate it (even the tomatoes) without complaint.

You are awesome for posting this! It will definitely be in our regular rotation!


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