Coq au Ginger Tom

OK back to normal blogging activity today with a great beery twist to a classic dish.

I got the idea for this dish after asking for recipe ideas for chicken thighs from beer and foodie folk on Twitter. One of which was a pretty easy recipe for Coq Au Vin coming from Brad at Lymestone Brewery. I was wondering if I could make it with beer instead of red wine and after a little discussion Brad recommended one of his own brews Stone Brood, made with honey from the breweries own apiaries. Sadly I had none and in truth couldn’t face the 5 mile drive to Brown & Green to fetch some.

So I looked in the beer cupboard for an alternative and came up with Robinsons Ginger Tom which I thought would be a good alternative with it’s rich old ale sweetness.

The recipe is simple and doesn’t take long.


  • 8 chicken thighs (or more if required) I skinned mine but that is to personal taste.
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunky pieces
  • 2 onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, left in their skins
  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon, snipped into 3cm pieces
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml (7fl oz) hot chicken stock
  • One bottle of Robinsons Ginger Tom (which is available in most supermarkets)
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Put the chicken, carrots, onions and garlic cloves (still in their skins) into a large roasting tin. Drizzle with the oil, rub it over the meat and vegetables then scatter with the bacon. Season then roast for 30 minutes, until the chicken and vegetables are turning golden.

Dissolve the tomato puree in the hot chicken stock then stir in the Ginger Tom (or even Stone Brood).

Pour the liquid around the chicken and return to the oven for 30 minutes until rich and saucy. Nestle the mushrooms in the sauce around the chicken, drizzle with a little oil, then roast again for 15 minutes until everything is golden. Season to taste, then scatter with the parsley to serve. Serve with rich buttery mashed potato.

I really enjoy experimenting with recipes especially with beer and this was a real success. I wasn’t sure whether a strong dark ale may overpower the chicken but needn’t have worried. The sauce was sweet and rich, going really well with the mash and the juicy chicken was to die for.

There wasn’t too much of a strong gingery flavour to the sauce, although it was clearly evident, so maybe add a little root ginger to the initial roasting pot (or maybe more Ginger Tom to the cooking sauce) if you are a real gingerphile.

On the day I didn’t try and pair the meal with another beer but think that something equally dark and sweet would go well. Maybe something like a St Feuillien Mac Ben.        (or Stone Brood?)

I’m still a novice when it comes to beer and food pairings though to be honest, so would welcome the thoughts of anyone more experienced beer experts in comments below this post?

Thanks to Brad and everyone who offered suggestions on the day.

Let me know if you try it, love to hear what you think?

Cheers 🙂

Ginger Tom – ABV 4.3% – Richly flavoured maple coloured dark ale with distinctive aromas of peppery spice and sweet ginger.Specially brewed using an infusion of Chinese bruised ginger root and botanical extracts this warming speciality ale has a pronounced ginger and spiced herb palate complemented by a sweet roasted malt dryness and wonderful ginger afterburn.

Ginger Spice!

This weekends drinking took on an unexpected but cracking Asian twist in the form of two outstandingly different ales, Black Death by “Fallen Angel” and Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer from the Cornish outfit “Wheal Maiden”.

Black Death Naga Chilli Stout – Fallen Angel Brewery

The Sussex micro-brewery “Fallen Angel” produce this interesting little brew which comes with it own health warning in the form of these tasting Notes:
“WARNING!!! This is an extreme beer containing the world’s hottest chili, the Naga or Death Chili, rated at 850,000 Scovilles. By consuming this product you agree to exempt Fallen Angel Brewery from all after effects.”
Having tried their Fire In the Hole Chilli beer a few weeks ago which was quite hot (spicy) I was intrigued as to how this super hot stout would compare. We split the bottle into six glasses and served it chilled as advised. The general consensus was not great I have to say, it does have a quite vinegary smell to it to begin with. Now not having ever tasted a Naga chilli it’s difficult to be objective over this as both the smell and taste could be an accurate reflection on the Naga itself. Personally I liked it although probably only as a one off, if I was to describe it as anything I’d say it had a taste of spicy blackberries!
Overall not a particularly great reaction from anyone but don’t let that put you off, if anything I’d say try the Fire In The Hole, this has the chilli burn to it, but has a much fresher taste of green chilli.
Lots more going on at fallen angel and well worth a look:

Not sure where it is stocked by I sourced mine from “Beers Of Europe”:

Grandma’s Weapons Grade Ginger Beer – 5% – Wheal Maiden Brewery
I originally heard about this on “Oz & Hu’s Raise the bar”, I love ginger and it immediately caught my attention, “a fine fiery hot ginger beer that has a good alcohol content, I need some”. Putting a request to the landlord of my local, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pump clip on the bar some weeks later. This is the second batch and I believe there a few more waiting in the cellar as it has become a bit of a hit with the pub regulars.
To describe it, it is a cloudy white colour and pours with a slight fizz but no head.
Great ginger aroma, but is surprisingly sweet, fruity and very refreshing to drink which makes it extremely dangerous as it slides down far too easily. There is of course a lovely warming ginger finish which lasts but is in no way too much, the balance is perfect.
Made fully from natural ingredients it is described by Wheal Maiden Brewery as being “gingery, fiery hot and alcoholic. There are some great tasting notes on the website below and ideas about different way to drink it amongst other things. Try it it’s a revelation.

If your quick and local you can find this at The Bulls Head in Burslem (Stoke on Trent).