Sunday 16 January 2011

FABPOW: Chicken, Chorizo and White Beans with Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale

FABPOW stands for 'Food and Beer Pairing of the Week", as coined by Mark at Pencil & Spoon. It's a nice format, and Mark has the courage to publish his misses as well as his hits, although I've yet to be convinced enough by Rochefort 8 and spaghetti bolognese to actually try it.

I've not written much about food and beer lately, but this was such a great match that I had to. As you can tell from the previous couple of posts, a shipment of beers from Stone Brewing has landed recently, so there's quite a bit of it about (if you look for it, that is). Arrogant Bastard Ale (7.2%abv) is one of those beers that really ticks all the boxes for me - strong, full malt profile, very well hopped, but still slightly sweeter than it is bitter. In fact, here's what I said about it in "500 Beers":

"The air is filled with the bristling aroma of a million zesty, peppery hops drowning in a sea of honeyed caramel, as a wave of Demerara sugar, tropical fruit and more bitter, resinous hops crash onto your palate. What did you expect from a beer with this sort of name? Magnificently uncompromising"

Great, eh?

If I'd stopped and thought about it, I'd have figured out that it would go well with a big, hearty tomato-based stew. As it turns out, this was a happy accident. If you can't get Arrogant Bastard, you could use, err, no, I can't think of a good substitute, sorry. But anyway, this is great one-pot comfort food for dark, wet evenings.

Chicken, Chorizo & White Bean Stew (Serves 2, with leftovers)

Finely chop a medium onion, fry in olive oil for 5 minutes
Smash and chop a clove of garlic, and add to the pan and fry for 2 minutes.
Slice about 10cm of thin chorizo into 20 slices (i.e. about 5mm each). Add to the pan and fry for 5 minutes.
Add chicken - either a couple of small diced breasts, or 4 whole or boned thighs.
Add a sprig of rosemary.
Add a tin of chopped tomatoes.
Simmer until the chicken is done.
Add a tin of drained butter beans, mix and warm through.

Serve with crusty bread and butter, and a large glass of Arrogant Bastard Ale per person.


  1. I'd also suggest it in the bacon butty I made in september (see here: was rather fabulous...

  2. One pot food - wonderful. One of my favourite styles of cooking. And yeah, I can see how this would work.

  3. Yum! I'd guess that it's the creamy beans which pull it all together, softening the hops and the chorizo warmth? This has done the job and it's made me both hungry and thirsty to try the combo - that's the ultimate test of a FABPOW!

  4. Dude - I thought the FABPOW was a Dredge thing, and only a Dredge thing only... Ok, unless you count Cookies mock imitations. Maybe everyone should do a FABPOW now and then?

  5. Gotta say, I'm more and more interested in one-pot cooking, and being a fan of chorizo, I gotta try this (could blutwurst be used too? :D). I only tried Bastard once, in a bar in San Diego, and found it a bit one-dimensional at the time. Might have to revisit it (but probably means going to California again to find it...).

    I think Mark should license out FABPOW. I like the concept, but have been afraid to use it :D

  6. Susie - now that's what I call proper camping!

    Leigh - if I could figure out what a one-pot breakfast would be, I'd be happy - these dark mornings are doing my head in (as the kids say)

    Mark - it's just a big sweet-smooth bowl of comfort, which the beer sort of is too.

    Rob - like all good concepts, it's open to interpretation, knowing reference and outright theft

    Barry - chorizo is oe of those things that you can put with almost anything and it makes it taste better. Blutwurst might work, but would make the sauce look rather sinister.

  7. Just realised I got confused was self ritghteous with the bacon not arrogant. It's coz we had both on the bar, and fab they were too. Still, I'm sure arrogant would work just as well, and I think I'm going to try your stew this week sometime.


Sorry about the word verification - the blog was getting spammed to bits.