Chef MeiPan-roasted chicken in lime beer and cherry sauce served with sauteed broccoli with herbs and onions, and Spaetzle simmered in tomato gravy.

It was 5:30 p.m. There I was staring into the abyss of my pantry trying to figure what to feed the family. Rows of Steve’s favorite ranch beans greeted me in addition to canned tomatoes, some dried pasta, rows of Asian seasonings and spices, canned broth and too many others to mentioned. It is a never ending battle, even for a chef, to figure what to cook for dinner. Again, I needed something quick that my picky family would eat. In the freezer, I had the regular staples of raw chicken, beef of various cuts and pork. When all else fails, I usually grab my handy dandy chicken and try to put something together.

I did a quick search on chicken recipes and got inspired by one of Emeril’s recipe; Pan-roasted chicken with cherry beer sauce. Okay I did not have cherry lambic beer (cherry infused beer); however I had some Budweiser lime beer. I had some dried cherries and the rest of the other ingredients called for in the recipe. Emeril’s recipe simmered the chicken on the stove, which made me question how is it pan-roasted if simmered on the stove? I decided to sear my chicken on the stove and finish the rest of the cooking in the oven. I remove the meat once done and finish the sauce back on the stove. The dish came out pretty damn good, according to my picky eaters.

Along with the chicken I decided to serve up some spaetzle that has been hanging out in the pantry for quite some time waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. Well spaetzle, tonight is your night. I did not want to serve a creamy or plain buttered spaetzle. I decided to saute some aromatics and throw in a can of diced tomatoes with herbs, added a splash of dry sherry and finish it off with BIG dollops of butter. Needed a vege; had some broccoli. Made it simple by chopping up some onions along with some fresh thyme and gave the broccoli a quick saute with the onions, thyme, a splash of soy sauce, salt and pepper, and it was done. Time start to finish–45 minutes. Satisfaction on family’s faces–priceless.

Pan-roasted Chicken with Lime Beer Cherry Sauce

Ingredients (Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.)

  • 4 skin-on chicken breast or 6 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper each
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 can lime beer or whatever fruit flavored beer
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Directions

    Seasoned chicken with salt, pepper, sugar, and Dijon mustard. Heat an oven-proof saute pan on medium-high heat. Sear chicken on one side for about 3 minutes until nice and brown. Turn chicken over and brown the other side. Add in the shallots and garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Pour in the 3/4 of the beer into the pan. Add in the cherries and fresh thyme.

    Place the entire pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken from pan and set aside to keep warm. Place saute pan back on the stove on medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 can of beer along with 1/4 cup half-and-half or cream to the pan, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season sauce to taste with a little more salt and pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens, about another 3-5 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.