Garlickly Onion and Beer Braised Chicken

"This such a easy flavorful dish. It does have a bit of garlic, but it isn't overpowering. It is perfect with served with mashed potatoes or even buttered noodles. Sauteed spinach on the side is my favorite side for this. Note: I purchased boneless skinless thighs and breasts and cut the thighs in 2 pieces and the breasts in 3, but you could purchase a whole cut up chicken or use any mix you prefer. I prefer the skin off for this dish."
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  • Chicken -- Add the buttermilk and cayenne to a large baggie and toss in the chicken. Let marinade over night or just for the day. Bring the chicken to room temperature.
  • Dredge -- Mix the flour with plenty of salt and pepper and transfer to a pie plate or small pan and dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. Make sure to shake off any excess buttermilk. Set off to the side on a small plate or baking rack. You want the chicken to set 10-15 minutes to dry off a bit before you saute it.
  • Saute -- Add the olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan and bring to medium high heat. Saute the chicken on each side until golden brown. Once the chicken is nice and brown, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Then to the same pan, add in the onion and cook on medium heat just a couple of minutes. Then add in the garlic and stir well. You don't want the garlic to burn.
  • Sauce -- Deglaze the pan with the beer scraping up all the bits. Then add in the chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme and reduce to medium low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Check for any seasoning, remember that the chicken is seasoned and you can always re-season later. Then add the chicken back in and make sure there is enough liquid. You can add a bit more chicken broth if necessary. Cover and cook about 30-40 minutes until every thing is tender and the chicken is almost falling apart.
  • Finish -- Remove the chicken, thyme sprigs and bay leaf, but leave the onions and reduce the sauce on medium heat for 5 minutes uncovered. Add in a slurry of 1 teaspoon corn starch and water to slightly thicken the sauce. You may need a bit more, but it is hard to say depending on how much liquid remains. Thicken to a nice gravy consistency.
  • Add in the parsley and once again check again for seasoning (salt and pepper) and then serve.
  • Serve -- Mashed potatoes or rice is perfect and sauteed spinach are my favorites. The gravy is wonderful over the chicken and spuds. ENJOY!
  • NOTE: Time does not include marinating.

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<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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