I am writing to request a recipe for the Guinness Chicken Stew that I enjoyed several months ago at Hibernian Irish Pub & Restaurant in Cary. It has an interesting flavor, I think because of the Guinness. I enjoy lunch there often because of their delicious food.
The original Hibernian opened in 2000 on Glenwood South, predating all but a handful of the bars and eateries that now make up one of downtown Raleigh’s premier after-hours destinations. Offering a mix of traditional Irish and American fare in a cozy Irish pub setting, the restaurant more than held its own among its glitzier, trendier neighbors until it was destroyed by a fire on Dec. 26.
Hibernian was so successful, in fact, that it wasn’t long before owner Niall Hanley opened a second pub in Cary. That location will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.
Judging by his restaurants’ enduring popularity, it’s clear that Hanley learned the ropes well when he was growing up, working in his family’s pub in Claremorris, a small town about an hour’s drive north of Galway in western Ireland.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Hanley raised the culinary ante earlier this year when he hired Dan Yeager as corporate executive chef. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago who has cooked in restaurants from Charleston to Las Vegas (where he worked for the acclaimed Rick Moonen at RM Seafood), Yeager oversees the kitchens at all of Hanley’s ventures. That includes a soon-to-open Hibernian pub in North Raleigh, as well as Bia (formerly Solas), where the chef recently introduced an inventive contemporary menu to go with restaurant’s new name.
Yeager credits chef Corey Millett, who was recently promoted from line cook, with the recipe for Guinness Chicken Stew. “Corey came up with it as a new soup du jour,” he says, “and it was a winner.”
Millett points out that it’s really more of a hearty stew than a soup, noting that a lot of people order it as an entree. “Serve it with a good crusty bread and you’ve got a meal,” he says. He likes to serve the stew with thick toasted slices of rosemary and olive oil boule.
Asked if he’d like to suggest any tweaks or variations, Millett doesn’t hesitate. “For an even richer flavor, add more Guinness – as much as a pint and a half.” For the home cook who isn’t likely to have Guinness on tap in the kitchen, that works out nicely to 24 ounces, or an even two bottles. We’ll leave it to you as to what to do with the rest of the six-pack.
Specialty of the House gets recipes for local restaurant dishes. Send requests, including your city, to Specialty of the House, c/o The News & Observer or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Guinness Chicken Stew