Preamble by Steve Siciliano
Now that the nights are getting nippy and the leaves are starting to turn, Barb and I are transitioning from light summertime fare to hearty comfort food. One of our favorite cool weather dishes is a quick and simple chicken cacciatore.
Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian and in Italy this hunter’s stew is often prepared with wild rabbit. We have scads of the cute critters hopping around our backyard; I’m sure I could easily bag one with a Wham-O slingshot. But I was never much of a hunter and I’m also sure Barb would have to be starving before she put a morsel of bunny rabbit in her mouth.
We prefer using bone-in chicken thighs in our version of this traditional, Old World dish. After lightly browning the thighs in a medium sized stockpot with olive oil, a big onion and a head of garlic, we add a 32 oz. box of Swanson chicken broth and a couple of 28 oz. cans of San Marzano tomatoes. Put a lid on the pot, simmer on low heat for about an hour and then add the vegetables in twenty-minute increments, chunks of potato first, followed by carrots, mushrooms and green peppers. Season with salt, red pepper flakes and a healthy dose of oregano.
Mop up the juice with a loaf of crusty Italian bread. A bottle of a good Chianti or Sangiovese from Siciliano's is a perfect accompaniment to this hearty, rustic meal.
New and Returning Beer
21st Amendment Blah Blah Blah, $2.59/12oz - "This is a deep gold color, double IPA (of course) and jammed packed with hop flavors and aromas. With nine different hop varietals, on top of late-kettle boil additions, this beer has a juicy, hop chewy flavor" (source).
21st Amendment Blood Orange Brew Free or Die Trying, $1.99/12oz - "Brewed like our original Brew Free! or Die IPA, this beer has an abundance of fresh blood orange puree and a twist of citrusy dry hops. It's refreshingly different" (source).
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die, $1.99/12oz - "Brew Free! or Die IPA is available year-round in 6 pack cans, 12 pack cans, and draft. Our golden West Coast IPA is perfectly balanced with a solid malt backbone and just the right amount of hop flavor and aroma. Taste Freedom" (source).
21st Amendment El Sully, $1.99/12oz - "Who is El Sully? Grab a can of this Mexican-style lager, head to the nearest beach, even if it’s imagined, and perhaps he’ll come to you" (source).
Ace Pumpkin, $2.19/12oz - "First produced in the fall of 2010, our Ace Pumpkin cider is a seasonal favorite. Its unique orange color and full rich flavor will leave you craving more. This seasonal Cider is released after Labor Day and available throughout fall. Ace Pumpkin is perfect for the pumpkin lover that just can’t get enough. Ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving this cider pairs well with or beef. Our pumpkin cider also makes a great snakebite when mixed with a heavy lager" (source).
Austin Brothers Helloha Punch, $4.09/16oz - "This beer will make you feel like you are there with him as well, with huge amounts of Pineapple, Passion Fruit, Pink Guava, and Orange complementing this kettle sour. So throw on some socks and sandals, an umbrella hat, and your best Lei, and let this beer take you to the tropics" (source).
Austin Brothers Strawberry Smoothie IPA, $4.09/16oz - "Brewed with lactose and 4 lbs of strawberry per barrel, this beer has creamy like character that plays into the juicy characters of the New England IPA. A very drinkable combination of fruit , vanilla, and hops" (source).
Bell's Two Hearted "Tall Hearted", $2.79/19.2oz - "Brewed with 100% Centennial hops from the Pacific Northwest and named after the Two Hearted River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this IPA is bursting with hop aromas ranging from pine to grapefruit from massive hop additions in both the kettle and the fermenter" (source).
Big Lake Deer Beer, $2.79/16oz - "A light, Crisp, refreshing beer to be enjoyed by the lake" (source).
Big Lake Wee Heavy, $4.09/16oz - "A strong Scotch Ale brewed with Peated Malt. Peated Malt in Scotch Ales is not traditional but neither are we" (source).
Brew Detroit Blackberry Cloud 19, $3.59/16oz - "We took our haziest yet and added fresh blackberries. Delicious notes of berry, mango, stone fruit & tropical fruit flavors. Brewed with Mosaic & Hallertau Blanc hops, our Blackberry NEIPA delivers with a everything you love about Cloud 19 + more" (source).
Brew Detroit Cloud 19, $3.59/16oz - "Our haziest yet. Delicious notes of mango, stone fruit & tropical fruit flavors. Brewed with Mosaic & Hallertau Blanc hops, our NEIPA delivers with a pillowy mouthfeel & subtle white wine finish" (source).
Cigar City Marshal Zhukov, $16.19/22oz - "This Russian Imperial Stout is dedicated to Georgy Zhukov, arguably one of the finest generals of World War II. Opaque black in color, with notes of espresso, chocolate, dark toffee and hints of blackstrap molasses. The English hop varietals provide a subtle herbal dryness, and the beer finishes with a hearty slap of roasty espresso. Pair Marshal Zhukov’s with mushroom solyanka, dark chocolate, cherries and ground wars in Russia" (source).
Epic Big Bad Baptist, $12.19/22oz - "One Big Bad Imperial Stout with Cocoa nibs and Coffee beans. Each season's release uses a different dark roasted coffee" (source).
Epic Son of a Baptist, $2.49/12oz - "Son of a Baptist is an 8% ABV imperial stout. It is not barrel aged like its father, Big Bad Baptist; instead its flavor profile was designed to highlight the complex and often unique flavors of small batch coffees. Instead of sourcing a coffee that would play well in a beer we sought out creative and innovative roasters, then asked them which beans they’re passionate about. Each resulting release of Son of a Baptist is widely different depending on the coffee selected. Some are fruity and sweet with notes of jam and chocolate, others are rich and earthy with a big roasted finish. Each limited release will return to the Roaster’s home market where the beer and the coffee can be sampled side by side" (source).
Haymarket Fest Bier, $2.09/12oz - "This clean and easy drinking German style lager has a deep copper color with mild hop flavor, a firm malt middle, notes of toasted malts, cherries and a spicy dry finish. Meant to be consumed with friends during celebrations of all sorts of occasions" (source).
N.I.P. Batch 35, $3.19/12oz - "This style is a new one for us. Dry and sweet simultaneously with a medium hop bite and just enough alcohol to make sure you'll remember/forget this beast, with strawberry and vanilla added in, and then a ton of tangerine citrusy goodness. This beer drinks like an ass kicking mimosa. The tangerine is all over the beginning of the taste, with the strawberry and vanilla doing an intoxicating tango at the back end of the experience. Go out there and try one, let us know what you think of the new style, and as always drink promiscuously friends" (source).
Rogue Hazelnut Choctabulous, $5.19/22oz - "For years, our hardcore local fans have been drinking a blend of Chocolate Stout and Hazelnut Brown Nectar; they say it tastes like a chocolate candy bar. We have taken these two absolutely fabulous beers and fused them together to create Hazelutely Choctabulous, a dark and decadent beer'tail with a rich, nutty flavor up front followed by a chocolate truffle finish. We're thrilled to share our little secret with the world" (source).
To Øl Grums, $4.29/16oz - Hazy IPA.
To Øl Raid, $3.49/16oz - "This is the pilsner, the lager, the bottom fermented beer. This is the Captain on the deck, one of the lone lagers cruising on the ocean of ale. To Øl actually loves lager type beers, and sometimes lagers is missed out because of the many great ales present. Problem is that most people who brew lagers apparently has a taste of old dusty piss yellow obnoxious stale impotent beers. So now was the time to stir things up and tell the people how you can do a super hoppy, well balanced pilsner type beer" (source).
Untitled Art/Angry Chair Cookies and Creme Stout, $5.69/16oz - "Contains lactose" (source).
Untitled Art/Voodoo Imperial Stout, $5.19/16oz - No commercial description.
Upland Modern Tart, $2.19/12oz - "This beer is one of a series of experiments in the process of kettle souring: fermenting wort in the kettle with lactobacillus prior to boiling to create a clean crisp acidity without introducing bacteria into our cellar. Mixed fermentation sour beers and kettle sours alike often include generous amounts of fruit to compliment the refreshing tartness contributed by acid-producing bacteria. However, sour beers of all kinds tend to be thoroughly fermented and dry leaving very little of the sweetness that we are accustomed to when eating the fruit itself. Because sugar works as a flavor enhancer and can amplify the taste of fruit in a beer, we decided to add some residual sweetness to a tart apricot beer to give the drinker a more bold and authentic taste similar to the apricot itself rather than a muted version of the flavor that results after fermentation. To achieve this, we add a small amount of lactose (milk sugar) into the kettle during the boil. Because the ale yeast used in primary fermentation cannot ferment this type sugar, a slight residual sweetness will remain after fermentation. The beer is dosed with a small dry hop addition that adds a fruity complexity to compliment the apricot. The result is a beer that delivers the full experience of biting into a fresh apricot with both the acidity and sweetness of the real fruit and a background of tropical flavors from Citra and Mosaic hops" (source).
Upland Oktoberfest, $1.99/12oz - "No season is as synonymous with beer as autumn, when the most storied beer festival of them all, Oktoberfest, takes place in Munich, Germany. Since 1810, this celebration of good food, good company, and, most importantly, good beer, has most prominently featured Marzen-style lager-so much so that many refer to the beer simply as Oktoberfest. Our version is an authentic representation of a classic style, rich and malty without sacrificing any of the smooth, crisp character that defines true German lagers. It has a deep copper color complemented with notes of caramel and toffee. A blend of three German hop varieties provides perfect balance and a clean finish to this autumnal favorite. Bronze medal winner at the 2008 BTI World Beer Championships" (source).
Video of the Week | Bell's Two Hearted Ale
19.2-oz cans of Bell's Two Hearted are available now at Siciliano's.