Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale - paired with baked chicken, chorizo, garlic & potato

Last night I made one of my favourite one dish meals: Baked chicken legs with chorizo, garlic, onion and potatoes. It’s big flavoured, gutsy food that is massively flavoursome yet unbelievable easy to make; simply mix all the ingredients together (see recipe below) and whack in the oven for an hour.

To go with the strong flavours of chorizo, garlic and roasted herbed chicken I needed a suitably strong flavoured beer, something with enough spicy hop character to cut through the richly flavoured oil but also a good malty, sweet base that would work with the rich spiciness of the Chorizo.

Luckily I checked the beer cupboard before I started cooking and put my chosen big bottle in the fridge to chill for an hour or so: Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone Brewing Company (7.2% ABV).

As the name suggests, Arrogant Bastard Ale is not a beer to be taken lightly. American craft beers are renowned for being big and flavoursome with heavy levels of hopping, but Stone are particularly known for producing some of the most assertive beers available, which in US terms is pretty damn aggressive.

It pours a thick, rich, scarlet red with a tight white head, that stuck around. Perfect carbonation, not too heavy, not too light. Spot on.

This beer smells wonderful, with a really powerful pine resin and slightly herbal hop aroma, as well as a background of rich, malty alcohol warmth and boiled candy sweetness. It smells to me very much like a heavily hopped barley wine, perhaps slightly reminiscent of something like Sierra Nevada Bigfoot. But what about the taste?

It's massive, seriously huge. There's too much going on in the first sip to work out what kind of beer this is and I just got a load of malt sweetness initially. On the second sip my palate had just about calmed down and I get that same hard boiled candy sweetness and dark brown sugar before a slight orange liqueur boozyness kicks in and then very bitter orange peel and pine hops, along with a slightly sweet but burnt tropical fruit twang, a bit like rum flambéed pineapple.

The brown sugar sweetness of the malt and spicy, slightly fruity hops pair amazingly well with the rich, spicy, charred chorizo, which dominates the flavour of the dish - Its red, richly flavoured oil seeping out and combining with the chicken juices to impregnate everything in the dish with a deeply satisfying savoury spiciness.

A key thing is that despite the caramel matlyness of the body this beer finishes dry with just a hint of residual sweetness, which makes it very moreish. The depth of flavour in the beer is a perfect partner to the richness of the meal. A match made in heaven, from a beer not to be messed with.

To make the Chicken with chorizo:
(Feeds 2)
  • 2 large chicken legs (or 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs)
  • 2 Thumb sized pieces of semi soft chorizo, cut into inch sized chunks
  • 4-6 Medium sized waxy potatoes cut into wedges (or however many you want/can fit in the dish)
  • 1 large onion cut into large chunks
  • 4 Cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of dried Oregano (or other dried herbs such as Thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Note on ingredients:
I was really hungry so used three chicken legs (two for me), but generally I’d allow 1 large leg per person. I served this with seasoned, buttered kale as it’s what I had in the fridge but a crisp green salad is probably even better. It’s important you use a waxy potato (I used red skinned ones), or even some larger new potatoes, as they hold their shape better during cooking. To make this for more people simply scale up the dish, allowing per person: 1 Chicken leg, 1 thumb sized piece of semi-soft chorizo, ½ onion, 2 cloves garlic, roughly 2-3 potatoes, and remember to use a bigger dish or two dishes so the ingredients bake and not stew.


Couldn’t be simpler! Pour some olive oil into the bottom of a lasagne dish and add the potatoes, season, and toss to coat. Then dotted in between the potatoes add the chicken (skin side up), garlic, onion, chorizo, sprinkle with the oregano and a little more salt and plenty of pepper, add a final drizzle of olive oil. It might look a little cramped at this stage but everything will shrink a little as it cooks, and as long as everything is roughly in a single layer you’re fine.
Next simply chuck the lot into a preheated oven at 220*C for 50-60 minutes, taking out and tossing the ingredients round about half way through.

Spoon the richly flavoured oil from the bottom of the dish over the meats and potatoes, and serve with a simple crisp green salad and a large glass of Stone Arrogant Basterd Ale. You could use big red wine glasses and share a large bottle between a few people if making this for guests; it’s a great way to get new people into good beer!


  1. Tomorrow's dinner sorted then. Think I might try it with a Raging Bitch (the beer, not my girlfriend).

  2. Had this with Flying Dog's Amber Ale in the end. Very nice. The more garlic the better as far as I'm concerned, I used some parsnips in mine too which added some sweetness to the dish. Will be maing this again soon.

  3. Anon - nice idea to add the parsnips, and I agree the more garlic the better! Plus, chorizo just makes everything taste better.

    Glad you liked it, and particular thanks for reporting back! I always wonder if anybody actually follows these recipes. This one gets a lot of hits though and is a doddle to make so I'd like to think a few people have tried it.

  4. Arrogant Bastard and chorizo, eh? Interesting combination, I may have to try this out. Thanks!

  5. Yum - just had this for dinner tonight, very good indeed - thank you!

  6. Glad you liked it Rosie! It's such a simple dish but tastes great, miy kind of recipe!