When you think of Bourbon Chicken, you probably think of it as a Chinese carryout or buffet type of chicken, because that is where you usually find it. The story is that a Chinese chef who cooked in a restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans created the dish. This "Kentucky Bourbon Sticky Chicken" is not that Bourbon Chicken. It's a bit different and it is lip smacking.
Since 95% of the world's bourbon is manufactured in Kentucky it's only right that Kentucky have it's own bourbon chicken recipe, so here it is! I used skinless boneless chicken breasts for this, but if you like the dark meat, you can use thighs or even chicken legs and wings would be fabulous! Here is what you will need:
5-6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
juice one lime (could substitute a lemon)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup good Kentucky bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs. soy sauce
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
3 green onions, sliced thin
2 Tbs. bacon drippings (can substitute oil)
Cut your lime in half and juice it.
Add all of the other ingredients except the bacon drippings to make your marinade! I like this juicer, because I can just mix everything up right in the same dish! Stir until the brown sugar is dissolved
Place the chicken a gallon size Ziplock bag and pour the marinade over all in the bag. Zip it up and turn it until all of the pieces are coated. I usually put the bag on a platter or on a cookie sheet, in case it leaks. Place this in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to get good and soaked with the flavors. If you can think far enough ahead, you can even do this the night before and let it hang all night. I don't usually think that far ahead unless I am cooking for company.
In a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, but if you don't have one any you have is fine, heat the bacon drippings or oil. This recipe requires a good constant conduction of heat and the cast iron is good for that. Take the chicken out of the marinade and just brown it on each side. Reserve the marinade. The bacon drippings give this such great flavor, but if you don't keep bacon drippings, use vegetable or canola oil. Get some good color on both sides of the chicken.
Pour the marinade you reserved over the chicken and bring it to a boil. Let this boil for about a minute or two and then turn down to medium. Leave this uncovered and cook for about 40-45 minutes, turning the chicken every 10 minutes. The sauce will gradually start to reduce so you need to watch it, because as it thickens it will stick and can burn. Spoon the sauce over the pieces as it reduces also.
At the end of 40-45 minutes the chicken will be nice and actually bourbon colored and that marinade will have reduced to the most wonderful sticky coating. For anyone worried about the alcohol, it's long gone by this point, but bourbon leaves a wonderful flavor and is a natural tenderizer.
It's a beautiful thing!
I like this served with rice and a green vegetable or salad, but potatoes work also! This was a huge hit at our house!