We are in transition.
As much as we want to burry our summer heads in the warm beach sand and ignore the impending fall, we’re only a few weeks away for the hectic pace that September thrust onto our slightly sun seared bodies. Take a breath, take a moment, plan your last few weekends, breath in the warm air floating into your car windows as you wind down the road. Make a plan right this minute to take a trip to the brewery you’ve been neglecting, the one with the killer patio and perfect beer flight.
Once the summer starts to slip away, we’ll have brown ales to ease the transitions. Brown ales never get enough credit. They will never be as sexy as a sour, or as hip as a triple IPA, or as seductive as a barrel aged stout, but they might just be the perfect food pairing beer. The roasty flavors, the malty notes, the kiss of hops, it all plays so well with a spectrum of culinary offerings.
Don’t underestimate the humble brown ale, don’t overlook it for the sas of a Belgian dubbel. Give a brown a try with some food, smoked gouda, or barbecued pork ribs, carnitas tacos, jambalaya, roasted chicken, and pretty much anything that includes caramelized onions, brown ales will knock that pairing out of the park. Brown ales might just be what will get us through the transition out of summer.
- 3 tbs olive oil (divided)
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 1 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tbs tomato paste
- 2/3 cup brown ale
- 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt (plus additional for chicken)
- ½ tsp pepper (plus additional for chicken)
- 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken (breast of thighs)
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Rice or pasta for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- In a cast iron skillet heat 2 tablespoon olive oil. Add the shallots and tomatoes, cook until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, then the tomato paste, brown ale, rosemary, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
- Transfer to the oven, cooking until the tomatoes have broken down, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- While the tomatoes cook, make the chicken.
- Season chicken on all sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, cook on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove from skillet, slice.
- Plate chicken with tomato sauce for serving. Serve over rice or pasta if desired.
If using chicken breast, filet the chicken pieces to make them thinner. Cut lengthwise so that no piece of chicken is thicker than ½ inch.