This rustic dish was one of my Friday night favourites while living in Brussels. It’s also the perfect time of year to make it; the cooking aromas remind me of fall. All it needs is a crisp green salad and loaf of crusty bread to round it out. Great beer choices to use in the cooking preparation would be Bell City Lenoir or Duvel, both available now at the LCBO.
8 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in)
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
6 Belgian endives, halved lengthwise
1 cup (250 mL) Belgian style beer (an ale, and not a wheat beer)
½ cup (125 mL) 35% cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
- Generously season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken well, about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add butter to pan along with garlic and thyme, cook for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) water along with the sugar. Lay endives in single layer in pan, cut side down (if they overlap don’t worry). Cover and simmer endives until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high and caramelize endives until they take on a golden colour, making sure not to burn.
- Once deep golden add beer, cream and chicken, cover and cook over medium-low until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, continue to cook until the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency.
- Place endives on each of 4 plates, top with 2 pieces of chicken. Stir sauce before spooning it over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.