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Cook’s Country Bourbon Chicken

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  • Cook’s Country Bourbon Chicken

    I made this tonight, no changes. It was excellent and easy.

    CC Bourbon Chicken
    SERVES 4
    TIME 40 minutes Aug/Sept 2021

    INGREDIENTS
    cup soy sauce
    cup packed brown sugar
    cup water
    2 tablespoons bourbon
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    teaspoon pepper
    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
    2 teaspoons cider vinegar

    BEFORE YOU BEGIN
    Use a good-quality soy sauce—such as [URL="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0001DMT96/?tag=ccoequippilot-20"]Kikkoman Soy Sauce[/URL]—for this recipe. Serve with rice.
    1
    INSTRUCTIONS
    Combine soy sauce, sugar, water, bourbon, sesame oil, and pepper in 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Microwave until hot, about 2 minutes. Whisk to dissolve sugar. Toss chicken, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce mixture in bowl until thoroughly combined.
    2
    Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken (skillet will be full) and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
    3
    Stir in garlic, ginger, and remaining soy sauce mixture. Bring to boil and cook until sauce is syrupy and rubber spatula dragged through it leaves wide trail before filling back in, 6 to 8 minutes. Off heat, stir in vinegar. Serve.

    Charlene’s notes 9-26-2021: I followed the recipe exactly, no changes. We both loved it and it was really easy to make.

    WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS
    Bourbon chicken—tender morsels of dark meat slathered in a sticky, sweet-savory sauce—is a popular offering at Asian- and Cajun-themed fast-casual restaurants all over the nation, especially in mall food courts, where it is famously served as samples. This adaptation was inspired by the exceptional bourbon chicken served at Today's Cajun Seafood in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans. The intense umami presence in the soy-based sauce keeps the sugar in check, making the dish irresistible. To replicate the closely guarded recipe, we started with the chicken, cutting boneless chicken thighs into bite-size pieces. For the sauce, brown sugar added complex sweetness and subtle notes of molasses that balanced the saltiness of the soy sauce. Toasted sesame oil rounded things out with a rich roasty depth, and minced garlic and grated ginger infused the sauce with their fresh, pungent bite. Adding a shot of bourbon to the sauce imparted aromatic top notes of vanilla and caramel (and justified the dish's name). The chopped-up chicken thigh pieces benefited from velveting (tossing them in a combination of cornstarch and some of the sauce mixture); this technique not only ensured that they stayed ultratender and juicy but also helped thicken the sauce, bestowing it with an attractive glossy sheen. A little cider vinegar stirred in at the end added brightness.
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