January 10, 2010

Southern Bourbon Chicken


This chicken dish has been around the block a few times I know but it is so worth revisiting. Many Oriental restaurants feature Bourbon Chicken, which is strange since one, bourbon, as we know it is not a manifestation of Oriental cooking and two, the many recipes prepared in this manner do not contain bourbon. You see, the name Bourbon comes from the royal family of King Louis of France and the name’s heredity is present in Kentucky and Louisiana. Bourbon County in Kentucky, named for the royal family is where many of the world’s best bourbons are made, like my favorite, Jim Beam.

Interesting also is how King Louis left his namesake in New Orleans. My understanding is when he received the plans for the French Quarter laid out in a grid fashion; he went about assigning street names. He labeled the main street Bourbon for his family and then Royal, Burgundy, so forth. He then named the cross streets for his children: Toulouse, Dumaine, Orleans, Conti, and so forth. However, since his children fought all the time, King Louis separated his kids with saints. By placing a saint between each of his kids, he could not only keep peace but sleep a bit better too.

There are many variations for Bourbon chicken like the bourbon-less Oriental. However, for the sake of King Louis legacy, I personally think alcohol should be a serious part of this dish. Enjoy!



Southern Bourbon Chicken

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces 
1/2 cup Jim Beam bourbon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
    Combine everything except chicken in a large bowl.
    Place chicken single layered in a non-reactive pan and pour marinade over the breasts. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake chicken for about 45 minutes or until done.

    Serve over a bed of hot rice. Chicken fillets are also great cooked on the grill.

    20 comments :

    1. Interesting recipe, we have so much chicken in Boquete, Panama, I need all the help I can get! Love that bourbon, it will give great flavor to the rice, yum!

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    2. Looking at the ingredients, I know this deish has to be very delicious. I would love it with rice and some stir fried vegetables....yum.

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    3. What is liquid smoke?? I've never heard of that! Looks so yummy!

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    4. Alcohol should be a part of every dish!!

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    5. Totally agree with the alcohol part, this looks wonderful I am going to gain 1000 pounds saving all these posts and making them...The shrimp for mardi gra, the mexican lasagna was wonderful, awesome strata for christmas morning and cant wait to have this drunken chicken! lol have a great weekend my friend....!! oooooo this is so good!

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    6. Thanks to everyone for your comments - to ncl117, liquid smoke is available in many brands - see http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-liquid-smoke.htm to see how it is made...

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    7. my husband was just asking me to make bourbon chicken and i have no clue what the heck it is...! LOL...sounds really delicious!!!i will try grilling mine instead of baking and serving with basmati turmeric rice...man, i'm getting hungry already!!!!

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    8. I love the history lesson! This recipe sounds so good with that big hit of bourbon.

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    9. Great recipe. I had heard of it but didnt know how it was made. Love the history, especially the saints bit lol

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    10. Bourbon you say... My hubby loves this stuff and I have yet to make it. Now that I've found a trusted source, I have no excuse right?

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    11. I've never used liquid smoke but ahve seen it at the market. I am printing this one to be sure.

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    12. Love the history! The chicken looks divine!

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    13. I love cooking with bourbon, it works so well in ao many recipes, both savory and sweet. This is a must try, I'm printing this one out!

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    14. I love your southern cooking! This is just grand. I cook with wine all the time - Bourbon's just the next step!

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    15. Never seen liquid smoke here. Interesting. Will have to check it out.

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    16. Yum! Now, if only I can pry some bourbon from my husband's fingers.

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    17. I love the part about separating the fighting children with a saint:) Must admit, I am not a bourdon drinking, but I am a bourdon "cooker".

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    18. Ummm whoa?!?!? How amazing is this?!?!?

      I am totally stealing this Drick. The husband-elect is a sucker for chicken and bourbon. You've combined the two! Holy mackerel!

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    19. I have always been a fan of bourbon chicken, but never tried making it myself. I look forward to trying this recipe.

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    20. great story, I haven't made bourbon chicken yet, but it was on my list, this is a great recipe, thanks

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