chicken cooked in beer

serves 4

1.5kg chicken, jointed into 8 pieces
1 tsp sweet pimenton (smoked paprika)
25g plain flour
3 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
500g onions, finely sliced 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp sugar
4 fresh bay leaves
2 tsp Dijon mustard 250ml lager-style beer 250ml chicken stock
2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
crusty bread, to serve

Remove the skin from the pieces of chicken, sprinkle over the pimenton and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss in the flour, knocking off any excess.

Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish. Add the chicken pieces and fry for about 4 minutes on both sides, until golden brown all over. Remove the chicken from the pan and set to one side.

Add the butter to the casserole and, when it has melted, add the onions, whole garlic cloves, fennel seeds, half the sugar and the bay leaves and season. Cover and fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, until the mixture is soft and has caramelised.

Stir in the remaining sugar, along with the mustard, beer, chicken stock and 1 tsp of the vinegar. Return the chicken pieces to the casserole, bring everything to the boil, cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender.

Stir in the remaining vinegar and some salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve with slices of warm, crusty bread.