Guinness Braised Chicken with Irish Champ

When I was growing up there was always a subtle undercurrent of knowing that we had Irish in our blood. It wasn’t something we discussed a great deal. It was just something we knew and were proud of. If I was asked what my family ancestry was, I’d immediately reply, Irish. But it wasn’t until my mother started to trace our family history did some of the pieces began to fall into place and it became more real. Now, I had a yearning to visit the family roots and feel my full Irish.

In 2005 my husband David and I took my Mom and Dad to Ireland and it was even more exciting than I had dreamed it would be. The energy, the sights and smells, the stories, music and castles but the people were what I enjoyed most of all. The Irish turned out to be so warm and friendly. I remember standing on a street corner, looking at my map and a woman walked up to me and asked if I needed help. Now we don’t see that happening in California and it struck me as being so thoughtful and kind.

As a child I would sit on our front lawn and pick four leaf clovers out of the tufts of three leaf clover mounds. It seemed normal to me to find them easily but my friends were always amazed. We would all be pawing through the clover as we talked and I’d be able to spot them and pluck them up.

We had been driving out of Dublin for quite a few miles when we missed a turn, which seemed to be a regular occurrence since none of the road names matched the ones on the maps, and we decided to pull over and regroup. We got out to read the map and take some pictures and my Mom and I gravitated to the clover mounds where we began to spot and pick a few four leaf clovers. It still seemed normal to spot them easily but it was somehow more magical because they were “real” Irish four leaf clovers. I tucked them into my tour book and they remain there to this day.

guinness-gates-dublin

One of the many highlights of our stay in Dublin was a tour of the Guinness Brewery at St Jame’s Gate.  Housed in an old fermentation plant, the seven story  Guinness Storehouse takes you on a tour up the seven levels and reveals the story of this world famous drink. As you wander through Guinness Storehouse, you discover what goes into making the “Black Stuff” – the ingredients, the process, the passion behind the Guinness family and the 9,000 year lease made by Arthur Guinness in 1759.  

guinness gravity bar

The story begins over 250 years ago and ends on the top floor in the Gravity Bar, where visitors receive a complimentary pint of Guinness, poured with a shamrock in the foam. Gravity, in the context of fermenting alcoholic beverages, refers to the relative density, compared to water, of the wort (beer) or must (wine) at various stages in the fermentation process. Thus the name of the bar at the top of the Storehouse. People from all over the world join together and sing “Molly Malone”….cockles and mussels alive, alive oh! ….while enjoying their free pint and the spectacular 360 degree revolving views from the Gravity Bar over Dublin. It has to be the best pint of Guinness in the world!

In Arthur Guinness’ day no one understood how diseases spread. They routinely drank from the same waters in which they dumped their garbage and sewage. Unknowingly, they polluted the rivers and lakes around their cities. People died as a result and this made nearly everyone avoid water entirely. Instead, they drank alcoholic beverages like Gin and Whiskey. Whiskey if it’s Irish or American and Whisky, no “e”, if it’s Canadian, Scottish or Japanese produced, as I understand it.

Alcohol was a safer alternative to drinking the disease-infested, unfiltered water of the time. However, since so many drank to great excess, some people began to brew beer which had a much lower concentration of alcohol. Guinness was among them.

During the first couple decades in business Guinness brewed only ale and in the 1770’s, as porters caught on in Dublin, he began to brew a porter himself. In 1799, he fully committed the brewery to porters which is where things stood when he died four years later. In 1821, his son Arthur Guinness II established the recipe for a Guinness Extra Superior Porter, the precursor to the Guinness stout known worldwide today. The success of the beer can be said to be a combination of its long history of award-winning advertising campaigns and its creamy, robust flavor. Here are a few of the most popular ads:

Guinness Ads

In 1929 the first ever Guinness advertisement with the slogan “Guinness is Good For You” was published in the British national press. This was soon followed by advertisements featuring the cartoon/animal characters created by John Gilroy. The most notable and recognizable series of advertisements was created by S.H. Benson’s advertising, primarily drawn by the artist John Gilroy, in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Benson created posters that included phrases such as “Guinness for Strength”, “Lovely Day for a Guinness”, “Guinness Makes You Strong,” “My Goodness, My Guinness,” The posters featured Gilroy’s distinctive artwork and more often than not featured animals such as a kangaroo, ostrich, seal, lion and notably a toucan, which has become as much a symbol of Guinness as the harp. An advertisement from the 1940’s ran with the following jingle: “Toucans in their nests agree,Guinness is good for you. Try some today and see, What one or toucan do.” 

Let’s dish up a little good health and strength in a bowl! Guinness Stout’s slightly burnt flavor, a result of brewing beer from roasted barley, gives this hearty stew a deep, rich flavor.

Guinness Braised Chicken with Irish Champ

Guinness Chicken Ingredients

My Goodness, My Guinness Chicken! It’s going to be a very lovely day!

Brown Chicken

Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot with a lid, over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and set them skin side down in the butter. Salt and pepper the meat side lightly. Brown the chicken on both sides well.

Set chicken aside

Remove the browned thighs from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Grease Jar

Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, taking care to not discard any of the tasty browned bits. Note: Be kind to your plumbing! I like to pour the fat off into a jar and keep it in the refrigerator. When it’s full, just toss it in the trash.

Brown sugar onions

Lower the heat to medium and add the sliced onions to the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the onions. The sugar will intensify the natural sweetness of the onions and soften the burnt barley bite from the Guinness. Cook the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes.

Add Guinness

Add the bay leaves, thyme, mustard, salt, and Guinness to the onions. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.

Add chicken

Add the chicken thighs and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Cook covered for 45 minutes.

Simmer Uncovered

Then uncover the pot and simmer until the liquid is greatly reduced and the meat begins to fall off the bone, between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

Reduce Guinness

Pour 3/4 cup of Guinness into a sauce pan and reduce by half. Time for the cook to take a moment and savor some Guinness. Pour the rest of the Guinness into a glass and taste the rich, dark flavor that is so uniquely Guinness, so uniquely Irish!

Add pearl onions

Add pearl onions and reduced Guinness now and heat through. Give it a taste. If you are using unsalted or low sodium stock, you may need to add some salt. Add a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.

Guinness Chicken with Champ

Serve with Champ!

Irish Champ

Champ Ingredients

The humble beginnings of a beautiful dish. I’ve never met a potato I didn’t love!

Drain well

Place potatoes into large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.

Absorb moisture

Return to very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes. Place a clean dish towel over the potatoes to absorb any remaining moisture.

Warm onion and milk

Meanwhile, heat the milk and green onions gently in a saucepan, until warm.

Mash with butter

Mash the potatoes, salt and butter together until smooth.

Onion milk to potato

Stir in the milk and green onion until evenly mixed. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve piping hot in bowls with butter in the potato wells.

Champ with knob of butter

Champ is traditionally served with a well in the middle that has a “knob” of butter melting in it. The potatoes are usually eaten from “outside” to “inside,” dipping each bite into the butter.

Guinness Chix Leftovers

Leftovers for another “lovely day”!

Guinness Braised Chicken with Irish Champ
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
2 hr 15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
517 calories
47 g
186 g
21 g
35 g
9 g
501 g
867 g
13 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
501g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 517
Calories from Fat 187
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g
32%
Saturated Fat 9g
47%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 186mg
62%
Sodium 867mg
36%
Total Carbohydrates 47g
16%
Dietary Fiber 5g
19%
Sugars 13g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
12%
Vitamin C
33%
Calcium
13%
Iron
22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. 6 chicken thighs, about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
  3. 1 pound yellow onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick, root to stem, about 6-8 cups sliced
  4. 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  7. 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 bottle (11.2oz) Guinness Stout
  10. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  11. 3/4 cup Guinness, reduced by half (the rest is for the cook)
  12. 1 cup Pearl onions
  13. Freshly ground black pepper
  14. Serve over Champ!
Irish Champ
  1. 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes
  2. 3/4 cup milk
  3. 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced (3-4 stalks)
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  5. 1/4 cup butter
  6. Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Guinness Chicken: Melt the butter in a large, heavy pot with a lid, over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and set them skin side down in the butter. Salt and pepper the meat side lightly. Brown the chicken on both sides well.
  2. Remove the browned thighs from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan, taking care to not discard any of the tasty browned bits. Note: Be kind to your plumbing! I like to pour the fat off into a jar and keep it in the refrigerator. When it’s full, just toss it in the trash.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the sliced onions to the pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the onions. The sugar will intensify the natural sweetness of the onions and soften the burnt barley bite from the Guinness. Cook the onions slowly, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes
  5. Add the bay leaves, thyme, mustard, salt, and beer to the onions. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken thighs and the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cook covered for 45 minutes, then uncover the pot and simmer until the liquid is greatly reduced and the meat begins to fall off the bone, between 45 minutes and 1 hour.
  7. Pour 3/4 cup of Guinness into a sauce pan and reduce by half.
  8. Add pearl onions and reduced Guinness now and heat through. Give it a taste. If you are using unsalted or low sodium stock, you may need to add some salt. Add a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Champ: Place potatoes into large pot, and fill with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
  10. Drain well. Return to very low heat and allow the potatoes to dry out for a few minutes. Place a clean dish towel over the potatoes to absorb any remaining moisture.
  11. Meanwhile, heat the milk and green onions gently in a saucepan, until warm.
  12. Mash the potatoes, salt and butter together until smooth. Stir in the milk and green onion until evenly mixed. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Serve piping hot in bowls with butter in the potato wells.
Notes
  1. Champ is traditionally served with a well in the middle that has a “knob” of butter melting in it. The potatoes are usually eaten from "outside" to "inside," dipping each bite into the butter.
beta
calories
517
fat
21g
protein
35g
carbs
47g
more
Life of the Party Always! http://lifeofthepartyalways.com/
 

2 Comments

  1. david says:

    Boy, this really is a hearty, rich and delicious dish for the winter months. The Guinness really does add a smokey caramel flavor to the sauce. Loved it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top

";