Greg Fleehart Pairs Silver City Brewery’s Indianola Pale Ale with Thai Chicken Penne

August 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Beer & Food, Washington Breweries

This is the first in a series of posts inviting local beer industry professionals to pair a beer with a dish, including a recipe so that readers can try the pairing at home.

Greg Fleehart enjoying an Indianola IPA paired with the Thai Chicken Penne.

Employee Name and Position: Greg Fleehart – Production Brewer at Silver City Brewery

Dish: Thai Chicken Penne (see recipe below)

Beer Pairing: Silver City Indianola Pale Ale

What Greg has to say about the pairing: The citrus and spice in the nose of our IPA and the squeeze of fresh lime over the creamy Thai Chicken Penne are an exciting combo. It is hard to tell where one stops and the other begins, but they bring out the complexity of aroma in each other. The earthy-sweet peanut sauce, garden carrot strings, and crunchy snap peas play in your mouth; then with a hearty gulp of IPA, the herbal Columbus hops pick up those flavors and carry them until they float away. Bready notes from German and British style specialty malts pull out the unmistakable flavor of the red chilies that make the Thai Chicken Penne sparkle.

The flavor of the chicken itself is lost in the torrent of spice, but it plays a critical role in making this dish creamy and completely satisfying. Adding to the complexity of the Thai penne is the silky and mouth-filling coconut milk. It never becomes too rich when the carbonation and bitterness of the IPA lift the pleasant texture off your tongue, enhancing the chili heat and leaving your palate clean and begging for the next bite.

Together you couldn’t ask for a more complimentary combination of flavors, aromas, and textures. Italian, British, Thai, and American influences collide to create a truly international experience. However, you should be careful with this pairing. Because once you have it, you won’t be able to think about much of anything else.

Greg Fleehart

Thai Chicken Penne Pasta Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Sesame Oil Blend – 2 TBSP
Onions – 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced
Roasted Chicken – 1 1/2 lbs in small chunks
Snap Peas – 1 1/2 cups cut into 1/4″ pieces
Roma Tomatoes – 1 1/2 cups diced
Garlic – 2 TBSP finely minced
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Peanut Sauce (see separate recipe below) – 4 cups
Penne Pasta – 12oz dried (3/4 of a typical 16oz box)
Carrots – 1 cup finely shredded
Green Onions – 1/4 cup thinly sliced
Peanuts (preferably toasted) – 1/4 cup crushed
Cilantro – several sprigs to garnish
Lime – cut into wedges for garnish
Black and white sesame seeds for garnish

Editor’s note: The recipe calls for roasted chicken “pulled into pinky size chunks”. The home cook can probably use boneless chicken breasts with good results. Roasted chicken will taste better, but sauteed boneless breasts might be more practical for you.

Cook penne according to box instructions, drain, and set aside.

Have all ingredients prepared and set aside before starting the next step.

Place a large saute pan over high heat and warm the pan until just before it begins to smoke – Add the oil, onions, and salt & pepper. Saute 2 minutes until the onions just start to get brown on all sides. Add the peas, tomatoes, garlic, and chicken. Saute and bloom garlic – about 30 seconds.

Add the sauce and bring to a simmer. Toss sauce with cooked noodles.

Serve into large pasta bowls, garnishing with peanuts, green onions, carrots, cilantro leaves, sesame seeds, and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!

Peanut Sauce Recipe
Yield: 4 cups
Sesame Oil – 2 TBSP
Garlic – 2 TBSP finely minced
Ginger – 2 TBSP finely minced
Red Curry Paste – 2 TBSP
Creamy Peanut Butter – 1lb (About 2 cups)
Coconut Milk – 13.5oz can
Unsweetened Rice Vinegar – 1/2 cup
Thai sweet chili sauce – 1/4 cup
Water – 2 cups
1/2 a lime – juiced
Kosher salt to taste
Cilantro – 2 TBSP finely chopped

Heat a sauce pan on medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and curry paste and bloom for 2 minutes (don’t burn it!). Add the peanut butter, coconut milk, rice vinegar, Thai sweet chili and water. Slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes being careful not to scorch – stir every 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add lime juice, fresh cilantro, and season to taste with salt.

Editor’s note: if you’re looking for a shortcut, you can likely find a good peanut sauce for sale somewhere like Uwajimaya.

About Silver City Brewery and Restaurant – We would like to invite you to experience the Kitsap Peninsula’s Premier Microbrewery and Restaurant. Come experience the friendly atmosphere. You’ll always be greeted by smiling faces ready to please. You’ll want to come back again and again for great food, excellent brews and good times. So don’t wait another minute! Find out why Silver City is the place you want to be! Read more about the brewery and restaurant here.


One Comment so far ↓

  • matthew

    What, no Indianola Pale Ale recipe? The pairing sounds good though. The Thai Chicken Penne is one of the few dishes I still have yet to try.

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