Friday, January 9, 2009

Whiskey Troubles

Don't worry. I haven't become an alcoholic. In fact, "troubles" was just an exaggeration. I just have a little too much bourbon on my hands.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine posted a link to a wonderful chocolate whiskey cake recipe in the NY Times in her Facebook. I decided to make it for the New Year's Eve party I was going to. I didn't bother blogging about the cake as others have blogged about it and there wasn't too much to say about it other than it was delicious. Now I have just one problem.

What do I do with all of this JD? I'm not a drink-hard-liquor-straight kind of gal. I'm a wine-and-fruity-cocktail gal.

I used to make a lot of Kentucky Derby Pies, so I always had this stuff in the house. It's one of my husband's favorite desserts. Unfortunately, I can't eat those pies anymore due to my walnut allergies, so that's out of the question. It was time to get creative and start making up some good bourbon recipes.

Last night I experimented with some chicken thighs. I thought it would be fun to make a bourbon glaze. I decided to just experiment with different flavors and see what would happen. I wanted a mix of sweet, salty, spicy, and smoky. I mixed the bourbon with brown sugar, smoked paprika, a few drops of hot sauce, and a little salt. I also cooked up an onion with the chicken for added flavor.

Start by cooking the onions down a bit.

Nestle in the chicken and brown well on both sides.

When chicken is browned add the bourbon mixture and continue cooking till chicken is cooked through. You can remove the chicken from the pan and cook the liquid down a bit until it's thicker and pour over the chicken.

My sweet and tasty chicken with a kick. I thought it was a little too sweet though. Next time I'm decreasing the amount of sugar and adding a little more paprika and hot sauce. I served it with some roasted asparagus alongside it. Just toss some spears with a little oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes depending on how soft you like it. It's nice tossed with a little hazelnut oil or balsamic vinegar.

Bourbon Chicken Thighs
1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbl olive oil
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
Few drops of red pepper sauce

Heat olive oil in a pan and add onions. Cook over low heat until soft and sweet.

Mix the bourbon, sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper sauce.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken in the pan and brown on both sides over medium heat..

When chicken is brown, pour bourbon mixture into the pan. Cook over medium heat until cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan. Set heat to high and let the sauce reduce down a bit. Pour over chicken.


Bunny said...

Well that's a good way to use it up! I buy those teeny weeny bottles when I need something for a recipe, otherwise it would sit here forever!

noble pig said...

I have lots of bourbon recipes and I love every one! This looks delicious!

Sue said...

Yummy, yummy, yummy. So are you saying it's bad that I have had the same bottle of Bourbon for 10 years?

You can absolutely use bourbon anywhere you'd use any kind of whisky or even any kind of brandy -deglazing a pan, with anything coffee (IN coffee too, hmmmm) or chocolate.

Have you ever had a hot toddy? You put a spoonful of sugar, powdered sugar or simple syrup in the bottom of a mug with a tablespoon of lemon juice. (If you're desperate, squeezable lemon juice will do). Add a shot of bourbon (in this case) or any kind of whisky or rum. Pour over boiling water and stir well. You can substitute a tablespoon of butter for the lemon juice and voila you have hot buttered whatever-the-alcohol-you-used.

The Blonde Duck said...

That chicken looks great! I've got a lot of wine recipes, no bourbon. I'll have to try it.

Malar Gandhi said... chicken in any form, this looks very inviting and totaly different, nice post...

first time here, you have some great collection, wish to visit again...

Colloquial Cook said...

Smoked paprika and whiskey!! You just won me over! I'm not much of a fan of whiskey as such; but in cooking, now we're talking!

Lore said...

I can see many bourbon chicken thighs happening in the near future ;). It looks delicious! I should switch from my go to wine every once in a while.

Sara said...

Bobby Flay has a great recipe for spice crusted pork tenderloin with bourbon ancho sauce, I think I got it from the food network website.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Wow. Everyone is giving me lots of help on this.

Bunny - I don't know why I didn't think of that.

Cathy - Thanks. I don't know why I don't amass more recipes.

Sue - You are always the one who gives me the ideas on using up all of those excess ingredients. I'm laughing at the "hot-buttered-whatever-alchol-you-use".

Duckie - I cook more with wine too, but bourbon has often been a dessert thing for me (to add to recipes rather than to drink). I'm plunging ahead with savory recipes!

Malor G - Thanks for stopping by. Hope you come back.

CC - I know what you mean. Whiskey is one of those things I will always cook with, but almost never drink. I feel the same way about sherry. Some forms of alcohol blend well with food, but I just don't like them straight.

Lore- Definitely do some wine swap outs. Cooking with bourbon is fun.

Sara - Sounds awesome. I don't normally cook Bobby Flay recipes because I don't have a grill or a yard to put one in, but those flavors sound good enough for me to figure out a way to adapt.

Peter M said...

Rachel, the paprika and whiskey combo stands out here. I think you've got something.

Dee said...

I do not understand the problem "too much bourbon". Then again, I'm a lush. Naturally, I LOVE the chicken! And I'm now going to hunt down the cake :)

jesse said...

Too much bourbon? Send some over my way! ;) That chicken dish looks divine... can't wait to see what else you're going to come up with.

Anonymous said...

Bourbon on chicken sounds like the perfect way to get your protein. :)

Darius T. Williams said...

A woman after my own heart! You cooked chicken (which I love) in alcohol (which I love) and in a cast iron skillet (which I love).

I love you!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Peter- Thanks. Sometimes I worry that I fall too much in love with a particular spice and want to use it all of the time, but this one worked.

Dee- I'll get your into an AA meeting. ;-) Definitely try the cake. If you like whiskey, it's to die for (and it's to die for even if you don't drink it)

Jesse- Another lush? Stay tuned. I'm working on another bourbon recipe tonight.


Lo said...

I was just about to suggest a bourbon glaze! Great on salmon, shrimp... sweet potatoes!

Love the paprika in here. Looks like a great combo!

Theresa said...

Clever way to use it and your dish looks great!

Stacey Snacks said...

I saw a great cake made with bourbon, now I have to find the recipe! I forgot all about it until I read your post!
Too much whiskey is never a problem!