Guest Bloggers, Secrets of an Astoria Chef
Feb 05, 2013

Secrets of an Astoria Chef: Dark Lyric Chicken

We are happy to share with you another installation of “Secrets of an Astoria Chef.” Clare prepared this a little while ago, and we think it sounds like a pretty (…)

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We are happy to share with you another installation of “Secrets of an Astoria Chef.” Clare prepared this a little while ago, and we think it sounds like a pretty kickass way to make chicken. Love that it features our own local Astoria beer, SingleCut, which has made quite the splash on the local beer scene. Enjoy! -Meg

When I first heard about Singlecut Beersmiths, the Ditmars-based brewery, the first thing I thought was: bacon. Perhaps it’s my Brooklyn past itching to come out, but I just love the combination of beer and bacon. A while back, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few Singlecut brews. The Dark Lyric Lagrr!, a rich, dark beer was my top pick to pair with smokey applewood bacon.


Braising, a technique where food is cooked in a small amount of liquid, is the ideal method for those wary about cooking proteins. It’s the original slow-cooker; you are almost guaranteed fork-tender meat. Save tougher cuts like pork shoulder for the weekend; braised chicken can be done on a weeknight. My pared-down version lets the excellent qualities of the beer shine. It’s slight malt sweetness balances the saltiness of the bacon and the bright acidity from the cider vinegar.

On the side, I served some sauteed kale from the Socrates Saturday Greenmarket. Creamy polenta, mashed potatoes or just good crusty bread would all work well, too.

Dark Lyric Chicken
{Bacon and Singlecut Dark Lyric Lagrr Braised Chicken}

3 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon
1 whole chicken, quartered*
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups Singlecut Dark Lyric Lagrrr
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain on a  paper towel; crumble when cool.

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear the chicken on all sides in the pot with the bacon fat until brown and crispy. Remove the chicken to a plate. Add the onion and saute until tender and a bit caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add a small amount of water if the bottom of the pot starts to burn. Add the beer and increase heat, bringing liquid to a simmer. Add the chicken and any juices that collected. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping chicken half-way through.

Remove the pot from the oven. Remove the chicken and place on a platter or serving plates. Add the vinegar and bring the liquid to a boil and simmer until it has reduced, about 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and top with crumbled bacon.

*Chicken – I purchased mine at Whole Foods, but I recently found out that Butcher Bar sells organic, locally-sourced chicken for purchase. To break down a chicken, check out this tutorial.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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