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Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits

 

Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits  

Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits_

 

I was once friends with a man who was 100 years old. We had a bit of an unlikely friendship, since he had reached retirement age long before I was even born. He was smart, funny, and seems to have no concept of the age gap.

Life was a constant opportunity to make people laugh, and he took full advantage of it.

When he moved to Los Angeles in the 1940’s to get his pneumonia stricken daughters out of the frigid East Coast winters, he was without money, without a job, and without an education. He walked in to a Taxi company headquarters and asked for a job. He had a fantastic driving record and a winning smile, in his book, that’s the only resume he needed. As soon as the hiring manager found out that he had only lived on the West Coast of a week, knew nothing about Los Angeles freeways, and had never driven a cab, he shut down the interview.

“If you don’t know how to get from LAX to the Roosevelt Hotel, how are you going to get the client there??”

Jack responded with this famous smile, “Well if you don’t give me the cab, it’s gonna take a whole lot longer!”

He got the job.

Jack worked as a cab driver, running tourist from the Airport to Hollywood for over 30 years. He was also the very first Employee of the Month for the cab company, and to date, the recipient of the  most complimentary letters ever sent to the cab company about any one of their employees.

As I sat with him only a few months before his 101’s birthday, eating biscuits that his nurse had made us, I asked him if he had any regrets.

“Not really. The secret to living 100 years old and not regretting anything is this: Do your best. Don’t hurt anyone. Make friends with anyone who will let you.”

 When my job moved me farther from his apartment in the valley, I wasn’t able to visit as often as I used to so I wrote letters, postmarked from my Santa Monica office. One day I got a return letter, addressed to me with flowery handwriting. It was from his 76 year old daughter:
"Jackie,
I’m not sure what it was that formed a friendship between you and my Dad, but I wanted you to know how much he valued you. Your visits brightened his day, even his week. If there was a highlight from his last decade of life, it was the time he spent with you. He spoke of you often, and although my sister and I were at first skeptical of a friendship between him and a girl in her 20’s, it quickly became clear that there was a special bond between you two. I’m so sorry to tell you that he passed away, just a week shy of his 101’s birthday. I do want you to know that we appreciate the time you spent with him in his last year. Thank you."
I cried. And ate biscuits in his honor, his favorite breakfast. To this day, "Do your best. Don’t hurt anyone. Make friends with anyone who will let you” is some of best advice I’ve gotten.

Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits 3

 

Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits

Ingredients

    For the Biscuits:
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup Belgian ale (or wheat beer)
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • ¼ tsp course sea salt
  • For the Chicken and Gravy:
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 8 wt oz chopped crimini mushrooms
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ¾ cup stout beer
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbs honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. In a processor add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  3. Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter, process until well combined. Add to a large bowl.
  4. Add the buttermilk and beer. Mix with a fork until just combined.
  5. Add to a well-floured flat surface, pat into a rectangle. Using a cold rolling pin (preferably marble) gently roll into a large rectangle, about 1 inch in thickness, using as few strokes as possible.
  6. Fold the dough into thirds as you would a letter about to go into an envelope. Roll lightly, once in each direction to about 1 inch thickness, fold in thirds again. Gently roll into about 1 1/2 inch thickness (this will give you the flakey layers).
  7. Using a biscuit cutter cut out 6 to 8 biscuits. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  8. Brush biscuits with melted butter, sprinkle salt.
  9. Bake at 425 for 10 to 12 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  10. While the biscuits bake, make the gravy.
  11. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat.
  12. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Sear on each side until golden brown, remove from the pan, chop (they do not need to be cooked through).
  13. Add the onions, cook until softened, about five minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook until mushrooms are dark brown and soft.
  14. Sprinkle with flour, cook until the flour has turned brown, about 2 minutes.
  15. Add the beef stock and stout. Simmer until thickened. Add the chicken cubes back into the pan, simmer until cooked through.
  16. Add the cream, honey, stir until well combined.
  17. Salt and pepper to taste.
  18. Split the biscuits, fill with gravy.
https://domesticfits.com/stout-mushroom-gravy-chicken-beer-biscuits/

 

Stout Mushroom Gravy and Chicken with Beer Biscuits 2

Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy

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A reader from Iceland emailed me last week to ask what I listen to when I’m cooking. "You seem like a music girl," she said.

Music, food, beer, it all seems to be a different parts of the same creature and just like food can find a matched pair with beer or wine, music is the same way.

Making these potatoes I was lured to music that was timeless, earthy and effortless. Here is a bit of that list:

Something In The Way She Moves, James Taylor

Tampa To Tulsa, The Jayhawks

Torn In My Pride, The Black Crows

Fortune Teller, Robert Plant

Wicker Chair, Kings Of Leon (this was off a Demo they made before they were famous, handed to me late one night on Sunset by Nathan. I’m not sure if it is still available online, but I still listen to that Demo all the time)

Red House, Shudder To Think

Duncan, Delta Spirit

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Between prep, braise and eating, this is the music that joined me and the potatoes in the kitchen. A slow, lazy Sunday afternoon playlist that was a perfect compliment to a timeless potato dish.

And the beer that came along for the ride was Damnation by Russian River. A Belgian style beer that gave the starch in the potatoes a beautiful push forward in taste. If you’re a craft beer fan, or just starting to grow in curiosity about the subject, Russian River should be counted among the Craft Beer Meccas of the world. Seek out the beers they make, and plan to stop by the brewery if you ever find yourself in Northern California, or the West Coast, for that matter.

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Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy

Beer Braised Potatoes With Rosemary Beer Gravy

Ingredients

    For The Potatoes:
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 1 lbs red potatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • For The Gravy:
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. In an oven safe Dutch Oven or pot with a lid (check that all knobs are oven safe) melt butter. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, pour beer over potatoes, add rosemary, pepper and salt. Cover with lid and place pot in the oven until potatoes are fork tender, about 18-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and return to stove. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes and set aside.
  5. Add the flour and stock, whisk over medium high heat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve potatoes with gravy.
https://domesticfits.com/beer-braised-potatoes-with-rosemary-beer-gravy/

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