Ale pot roast chicken

A bottle of ale makes an easy, full-flavoured sauce for Matt Tebbutts chicken dinner
By Matt Tebbutt
Ale pot roast chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the chicken

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 small chicken
  • butter, for frying
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, left whole
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 ml ale
  • 300 ml chicken stock

For the dumplings

  • 120 g self-raising flour
  • 50 g shredded suet
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme, leaves


1. For the chicken: preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Heat a casserole dish on the stovetop and add a dash of oil. Fry the chicken all over in the hot pan until the skin is golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.

2. Add a knob of butter and a little more olive oil to the casserole, then the onion, garlic, carrots, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little and are slightly coloured at the edges.

3. Return the chicken to the casserole, pour in the ale and chicken stock, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for an hour.

4. For the dumplings: sift the flour into a bowl and mix with the suet, herbs and some salt and pepper. Slowly pour in just enough water to give a sticky dough (youll need about 75-100ml), then shape the mixture into balls.

5. After 1 hour, remove the casserole from the oven and take off the lid. Pop the dumplings into the liquid around the outside of the chicken. Place the casserole back in the oven, leaving the lid off, and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, until the chicken and dumplings are cooked through (a skewer inserted into one of the dumplings will come out clean).

6. Carefully lift the chicken, dumplings and carrots from the casserole. Cut the bird into portions to serve. You can reduce the sauce left in the casserole at this point if needed but it should be thick enough. Serve the chicken in bowls with the dumplings and carrots and the brothy sauce poured over.

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