I met with Chef Suzanne Barr at a taping of the Food Network show “You Gotta Eat Here “with host John Catucci a few years ago and have followed her ever since. Recently, Guinness Canada teamed up with BLACK FOODIE, a food platform dedicated to Black food culture in North America, to launch the Guinness x BLACK FOODIE Battle, a social media cooking competition in which four Canadian chefs battle it out to create a winning dish using Guinness Draught as the secret ingredient.
Chef Suzanne Barr was one of the chefs involved and you can watch the video with her, Monique Creary, Adrian Forte, and Noel Cunningham. We also got ahold of the recipe for her dish. Enjoy her Arepas Rellenas with Guinness-Braised Chicken Thighs & Carrot Pepper Slaw.
-2 cups water
-1 tablespoon salt
-2 tablespoon brown sugar
-3 bay leaves
-3 sprigs fresh thyme
-1 scotch bonnet pepper
-6 cloves garlic, smashed
-1 small onion, cut into quarters
-1 cinnamon stick
-2 cans Guinness Draught beer
-6 Boneless, skin-on chicken thighs
-1⁄2 cup chopped culantro (Caribbean cilantro) or cilantro
-2 cups warm water
-1 tablespoon oil
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups Regular or Blue Corn Masa Arepa flour (Goya or Pan brand)
Carrot Pepper Slaw
Can be made the day before
-3 cups grated carrots
-1⁄2 cup sliced scallions
-1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
-1 bird chilli chopped (include seeds) 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
-Cotija Mexican cheese, to garnish
For the Brine + Chicken Thighs
1. Place water, salt, and sugar into a pot on low heat stir until salt and sugar is dissolved. Do not boil.
2. Add in bay leaves, thyme, pepper, garlic, onion and cinnamon stick. Allow the mixture to cool. Once cool, add in Guinness Draught beer and mix well.
3. In a casserole dish, place chicken thighs – skin side down and pour Guinness brine over chicken thighs be sure to submerge all chicken completely. Saran wrap the whole container and place in the fridge overnight.
4. The next day, remove the casserole dish with the brining chicken from the fridge and carefully use tongs to remove chicken from the dish and put it onto paper towels. Pat them dry.
5. Prepare a roasting tray with a cooling rack and place chicken skin side up into the fridge to dry out the skin.
6. Place a large saucepot on a medium high heat stove top and pour brine into the sauce pot, bringing to a boil.
7. Lower temperature to medium heat and cook brine until half reduced. Discard bay leaves, thyme, and scotch bonnet. Allow garlic and onions to cool with sauce. Remove from heat.
8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the tray of chicken thighs from the fridge and place into the oven; roasting chicken until fully cooked and caramelized. Heat Guinness brine over a medium high heat stove and place chicken thighs into the saucepot. Bring to boil and then lower to a simmer.
9. Allow the garlic, onion, and chicken to braise until the meat begins to break down 15-20mins. Taste for seasoning and add chopped cilantro. Remove from the heat and place aside while you make the arepas.
For the Arepas
1. Place the water, oil and salt in a large bowl. Mix to dissolve salt.
2. Slowly add the Corn Masa flour, mixing as you go until it forms a dough.
3. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and let the dough rest for 10 min. After resting, add 1 tablespoon water if the dough seems too dry to hold together well.
4. Divide the dough into 6 roughly even pieces and shape each piece into disc, roughly 4 inch in diameter.
5. To cook the arepas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat a cast iron skillet or pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet or pan, making sure to coat the entirety of the bottom.
6. Carefully place arepas in the pan and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, just to seal the dough. Then, place the sealed arepas in an oven-safe pan and cook them in the oven for 18-20 minutes until they are puffed slightly and sound hollow when tapped.
7. Let the arepas cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
For the Carrot Pepper Slaw
1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients and dress with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Mix well before serving.
2. Assemble the Arepas Rellenas by slicing one arepa in half and adding 1/3c of shredded chicken and its juices, a 1/4c of carrot slaw, and 2 tablespoons of Cojita cheese (optional). Top with the other side of the arepa and dig in.
3. Be sure to enjoy them with an ice cold Guinness! And