August 5th is International Beer Day which of course calls for a suitably beery recipe for this week’s Recipe for the Weekend. Naturally we turned to Mark Dredge and his latest book, Cooking With Beer and he did not let us down. This recipe takes the very British idea of Lager and Lime and gives it an international twist. Enjoy!
LAGER AND LIME CHICKEN TACOS WITH AVOCADO AND LAGER SALSA
Lager and lime is a curious British combination which is quite literal: it’s a pint of lager with a dash of lime cordial in it. This takes that concept and turns it into a Mexican-inspired dish of lager-and-lime-brined chicken, topped with salsa and wrapped in beer tacos – the recipe for these is great for small tacos or larger tortillas. This is also a great recipe to use up any unwanted lager that you might happen to have in the fridge.
FOR THE LAGER AND LIME CHICKEN
400g chicken thighs, skinned, boned and diced
1 bottle of lager
Juice of 3 limes
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons salt
12 coriander seeds
12 black peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 chillies, roughly chopped
Plus, to cook: Salt, black pepper, some cayenne pepper (optional), and 1 whole lime (halved)
FOR THE LAGER TACOS
250g masa harina flour
FOR THE SALSA
2 ripe avocados, peeled and stoned
2 tablespoons lager
2 teaspoons salt
Juice of ½ lime
1 green chilli pepper, finely diced
TO SERVE: 50g goats’ cheese and some fresh coriander
TO MAKE THE LAGER AND LIME CHICKEN
In a large, sealable plastic container, mix the lager, water and lime juice to make a brine. Add the sugar and salt, stirring until everything is combined and then add the rest of the ingredients. Place the chicken in the brine, put the lid on the container and keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/Gas 7. Remove the thighs from the brine and pat them dry with some paper towel. Add extra seasoning and some cayenne pepper if you like your tacos hot. Place the thighs on a baking tray, along with the lime halves so that they caramelize and cook for approximately 30 minutes. You can also cook the chicken thighs on a barbecue.
TO MAKE THE TACOS
Mix the masa harina flour and salt in a bowl. Add the lager and mix into a smooth dough with a clay-like consistency. Leave to rest for 15 minutes and knead again.
Divide the dough into small balls (you should get about 10-12). Flatten the balls of dough until they are about 1/8in (3mm) thick. A rolling pin works fine for this unless you have a tortilla press. Either way, place the dough balls between two pieces of clingfilm when flattening them.
Cook the tacos in a dry frying pan over a medium-high heat for about 30 seconds on each side. Place in a warm over until needed.
TO MAKE THE SALSA
Chop the avocado into 1cm cubes. In a small bowl, mix the avocado with the sweetcorn, lager, salt, lime and chilli pepper and place in the fridge until ready.
To serve, place a chicken thigh in a soft taco, top with some avocado salsa and add goats’ cheese and a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
Cooking With Beer by Mark Dredge is available here.