Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of uncut butter in the oil. Add the chicken in batches and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 5 minutes per side; remove to a plate. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of the ale and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Return the chicken to the skillet, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn and baste the chicken with the pan juices, then cover and simmer until cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.