If you're wondering what I'm thinking about at any given time, it's probably food. I've worked in many kitchens, but my favorite is my own.
Blue Cheese + Beer + Chicken = Bliss!
If you love blue cheese, beer, and chicken, prepare your taste buds for a comfort food delight. The juicy chicken breasts (or thighs) are cooked in a sauce with mushrooms, onions, blue cheese, and beer—and then served over a bed of steaming rice (ideally, with a cold beer accompaniment).
The intense flavors and ultimate simplicity of this recipe are what make it one of my all-time favorites. You can casually throw it together in under 20 minutes with just a few ingredients, but the complex flavors make it unique. It's so satisfying, yet it's just a humble comfort food.
I'll share the story of how I learned this recipe from my Argentinian friend, Franco, after the actual recipe (in case you're just interested in cooking and not stories!).
Easy, Juicy Chicken Recipe in Just 20 Minutes
Here's Franco's original recipe, with some alternatives (in case you don't have a few ingredients) and a tiny tweak to improve the visual plating experience.
Yield: 2 servings
- 2 chicken breasts (or 4 chicken thighs if you like more fat on your meat, like I do)
- 1/2 bottle of beer (I suggest buying a six-pack, to enjoy the other icy cold beers with your meal)
- 1 package blue cheese
- 1 large onion
- 1 package mushrooms (any type)
- 1 cup white rice (or brown rice, wild rice, or quinoa for a healthier spin)
- 1/8 cup olive oil (or coconut oil for a slightly tropical twist)
- 1/8 cup salt
- 1/4 cup spring onions or chives, chopped (optional)
- Cook your rice according to the package instructions.
- Remove the breasts from the packet and rinse, then pat dry with a paper towel and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle half of the salt on one side of the breasts and rub it in. Repeat on the other side. Note: I know this seems like a lot of salt, but most of it is burned off while cooking (an Argentinian BBQ secret).
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
- While the breasts are cooking, chop up your onion and mushrooms into large pieces (about the size of a single piece of penne pasta) and add to the pan.
- Crumble the blue cheese into the pan, then pour the beer in and stir.
- Once the sauce in the pan has thickened, add cover and remove from heat. Cut a small section of a breast to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve your rice into two bowls, add a chicken breast to each one, and divide the remaining sauce on top of each breast.
- Top with spring onions or chives and enjoy steaming hot!
Origin of This Recipe
I was introduced to this recipe when I was backpacking around the world. Spain is one of my favorite countries—the people were beautiful and kind, the countryside lovely and varied, and the food delicious and plentiful.
Ever tried pintxos? They are extremely delightful little gourmet Spanish snacks on toothpicks, available literally anywhere. A bite of jamón Ibérico with a bite of manchego cheese on a bite of crusty fresh bread, for example. Around every Barcelona street corner. What more can you ask for?! I should offer you a disclaimer here, though: this isn't a Spanish recipe, aside from the fact that I learned about it in Spain.
It was around lunchtime in Barcelona, and my stomach knew it. My Argentinian friend Franco offered to make his "famous blue cheese beer chicken," and of course, as a blue cheese/beer/chicken/lunch lover, I enthusiastically agreed. I sat at the kitchen table as Franco casually moved around the kitchen in his slow, unhurried way, explaining the simple steps to me in between our regular conversation. I was quickly entranced by the smells.
The whole process was all over in under 20 minutes. To be honest, the end product didn't look all that exciting—but my stomach instinctively knew, based on the ingredients and the smells, that I was in for a real treat. My stomach was not disappointed. The simple meal was mouth-wateringly delicious and very satisfying.
I hope you enjoyed my little story and Franco's special recipe, and I would love to hear your thoughts/comments/suggestions after you try it out!
Did you like it? I'll tell Franco if you did!
© 2021 Jasmine Hanner