Saturday, September 22, 2012

Whiskey Chicken

I'm not sure why people who didn't drink whiskey had five partially-used bottles of it in their liquor cabinet (4 Scotch and 1 Bourbon), but my parents left a lot of alcohol behind.  I choose to assume they had many more parties than I knew about.  Cooking with it may appall some people, but it's kinder and less wasteful than pouring it down the drain.

There was a lot of good stuff in the clearance bin the Thursday before Labor Day.  I spent about $5 and got a pound of steak, 4 large fresh breakfast sausages, and 1/3 lb of 24 ct head-on shrimp.  That afternoon, it all went on the grill.

I've never cooked whole shrimp before.  I've always peeled and deveined them.  After realizing that they would fall through the grill on their own, I put them on wood skewers.  Convinced myself that one twitched and almost dropped the whole thing down the sink.  Finally, they were on the grill.  It was weird, because the moisture in them evaporates and stays in the shell, condensing on the inside of it.  Instead of getting dry, they steam themselves.  Yes, that sounds kind of gross, but now I have a photo of shrimp on the barbie.  They were ridiculously difficult to shell after cooking, so I won't do that again, but it looked neat.

The following week, I decided to marinate some chicken thighs in a whiskey marinade.  Found this simple recipe on  Then I thought that, as long as I have way too much Scotch sitting around, I would make up a glaze to go with it.   Didn't bother to research a recipe, just dumped the rest of a bottle into a saucepan with some logical ingredients and started reducing.  I was cooking out all the alcohol, so it didn't matter how much of the stuff I used.  It became no different than reducing a broth into sauce.

*1/2 C Whiskey
1/2 C brown sugar, lightly packed
*1/4 C olive oil
*1/4 C soy sauce
1 Tb salt
*1 Tb black pepper
*1/2 Tb (1-1/2 tsp) garlic powder

1.  Whisk together all ingredients.  Place in a gallon ziplock bag with as many pieces of chicken as the bag will hold.  Should be about 8, or an entire cut-up chicken.  Set on a plate or casserole and refrigerate at least 3 hours.  Turn bag over every couple of hours to coat all sides.

2.  Either grill chicken until thermometer reads 160º or bake in oven at 325º for about 45 minutes, until juices run clear.  If desired, serve with glaze below.

*1 C whiskey
*1/4 C honey or molasses
*2 Tb minced red onion or shallot
1 garlic clove, minced

1.  Stir all ingredients together in small saucepan.  Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.  For thicker syrup, continue to reduce.  Serve over chicken or use it to baste chicken while grilling.

Marinade and sauce each will coat 6 to 8 servings

Difficulty rating  π

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