Black Beer Braised Chicken with Fennel & Leek: Serves 4


  • 12 very thin slices of speck 10cm in length
  • 8 skinless chicken thighs
  • 500ml black beer
  • 600ml chicken stock for braised chicken
  • 12 baby leeks 
  • 1 teaspoon of white sugar
  • 30ml apple cider vinegar
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed cored
  • 12 fennel fronds


  1. Cut the chicken thighs in half lengthways, pat the chicken thighs dry then season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Sear the chicken on all sides until light brown in colour. Place in a suitably sized bowl add the beer, chicken stock and sugar marinade overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 160c.
  4. Place all ingredients in to a heavy based braining pan, Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Braise for 40 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces over after 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the chicken pieces and store them in half of the braising liquor otherwise they will dry out.
  6. Remove skin from the speck then slice on meat slicer as thin as possible. Deep-fry the speck until crispy set aside on absorbent paper towel to remove excess fat.
  7. Wash and remove the outer leave and green parts from the baby leeks cut into 7cm lengths, heat a pan over moderate heat with a little olive oil sauté the baby leeks until golden brown add 100ml water place in preheated oven for 10 minutes remove from oven and keep warm. 
  8. Simmer and reduce the remaining braising liquor to a sauce consistency adjust the seasoning if required and strain, add the chicken pieces.
  9. Arrange chicken across four plates or a single platter and add sauce.
  10. Garnish with crispy spec, sauté baby leeks freshly shaved fennel tossed in apple cider vinegar and fennel fronds. 


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