Snakes alive - chicken & ale

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The beer scene in the UK is stronger than ever and it seems the nation’s love of the hop is making an increasing appearance in the kitchen – from beer-battered fish and steak and ale pie to chocolate stout cake.

Little Valley Brewery, based in West Yorkshire, is encouraging the movement from cask to kitchen – master brewer and former food scientist, Wim van der Spek, provides his top tips when it comes to incorporating beer into culinary creations.

“Beer can create another dimension of taste as an ingredient in a variety of dishes, as sweet, sour and bitter tasting notes can all be found in beer – working with other ingredients to create something really special,” says Wim.

“The bitterness in beer can become overpowering, so it’s important that in lighter dishes only a small amount is used – but what is left can be served with the dish, so it’s win-win!”

Here a chicken dish is married in a triumph of flavour with Little Valley’s Python IPA

Stopwatch: 75 minutes (30 minutes (preparation) + 45 minutes (cooking))

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Large Chicken

4 spoons olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

2 onions

1 green and 1 red pepper (sweet)

4 tomatoes

200 ml strong (Chicken) stock

200 ml Python IPA

250 gram rice

A sprinkle of saffron

Small Tin of Peas

Large handful of black olives

Herbs (to personal taste)

Method

Cut the chicken into one person sized portions and fry this in the hot olive oil. Remove some of the oil after frying the chicken. Cut the garlic, onion and peppers (remove seeds) and fry them. Peel the tomatoes, cut them in four pieces and lay them in the pan with the chicken. Add the stock and the Python IPA and add some herbs of your own choice.

Simmer the dish for 20 minutes with the lid on. After that add the rice and the saffron to the chicken dish, and simmer for another 20 minutes. Then add the peas. After a further 5 minutes check to see the rice is cooked sufficiently. Continue until the rice is cooked.

Remove from the heat and garnish with the black olives.

lFor more information about Little Valley Brewery visit www.littlevalleybrewery or follow Little Valley on Twitter at @littlevalleyale