Love Your Leftovers: Whiskey

old charter

I have a confession to make: I don’t drink. I’m no tee-totaler, I’ll have a sip of champagne or beer every now and then, but a few years ago I basically gave it up.

Don’t worry, this not a lesson in morality or a story about my religious convictions.

I’ve just never liked it. I don’t like the taste of alcohol and I’ve basically tried it all, even absinthe. I drank in college and in my early years as a young professional, but I only ever drank to get drunk. I’d order vodka cranberries and down them like shots. Or I’d just take shots. Drinking is a huge part of networking and getting to know friends, especially in a city like New York where I started my career. When everyone went out for drinks, it felt awkward to not order something alcoholic. So I’d order a cocktail that masked the taste of alcohol as much as possible–Diet Coke and rum was a regular choice.

Around the time I turned 26, something changed. I realized that if I don’t like something, why drink it? So I started to choose plain ol’ Diet Coke or water at parties. The weird thing is my choice is often hard for other people to accept. It always becomes a topic of discussion. “Why aren’t you drinking?” people always ask. “Are you pregnant?” or “So are you on a cleanse?” We accept food aversions without question, so and so doesn’t like cilantro or won’t eat tomatoes. So why is it hard for people to accept an aversion to alcohol?

Because I don’t drink, it takes us a long time to work our way through bottles of liquor. There’s only so much vodka my husband can down on a regular basis! So when I ended up with a handle of whiskey after a party we helped host, I wanted to come up with some creative ways to cook with it. The Pioneer Woman is one of favorite resources for consistently delicious recipes. After a quick search of her blog, I found this recipe for Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken. Yum!

This weekend my friend Kathleen came over to get our whiskey on!  She likes whiskey, so she graciously offered to help drink some while we cooked. The best thing about this recipe is that it involves one pot, about 10-15 minutes of prep time, and then a whole lot of down time for hanging out. It’d been a while since Kathleen and I had gotten together, so the approximately hour and a half of cook time was awesome for catching up on local gossip. Below is the recipe, with some small adaptations of our own.

Peach-Whiskey Barbecue Chicken
(halved recipe, adapted from the Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • 6 Whole Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, Skin-on
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1 cup Whiskey
  • 8 ounces, fluid Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/2 jar Peach Preserves
  • 2 Peaches, sliced fairly thinly
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled

Start by gathering your ingredients and preheating the oven to 300 degrees.

 

We used a dutch oven to both brown and cook the chicken, which made this a one-pot meal. Start by heating the oil and the butter, and browning the chicken with the skin side down. I browned the thighs in batches of two to allow room for the skins to crisp up.

We used a dutch oven to both brown and cook the chicken, which made this a one-pot meal. Start by heating the oil and the butter, and browning the chicken with the skin side down. I browned the thighs in batches of two to allow room for the skins to crisp up. Remove the thighs to a plate once their skins have crisped up.

 

Slice the peaches and chop the onions. Kathleen was the chopping master.

Slice the peaches and chop the onions. Kathleen was the chopping master.

 

Add the chopped onions into the pot, cooking them until translucent. Look at that focus on Kathleen's face.

Add the chopped onions into the pot, cooking them until translucent. Look at that focus on Kathleen’s face.

 

Once the onions are cooked, add the whiskey, BBQ sauce, peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, broth and garlic cloves into the pot. Give them a quick stir to combine. Then add the chicken thighs back into the pot, followed by the peaches. Give everything another stir to make sure everything is covered with a nice layer of sauce. Once everything is good to go, pop the lid and put it in the oven for about an hour and a half, or until the chicken is fork tender.

Once the onions are cooked, add the whiskey, BBQ sauce, peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, broth and garlic cloves into the pot. Give them a quick stir to combine. Then add the chicken thighs back into the pot, followed by the peaches. Give it another stir to make sure everything is covered with a nice layer of sauce. Once everything is good to go, pop the lid on and put it in the oven for about an hour and a half, or until the chicken is fork tender.

 

The last and best step! We ate ours on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes, which combined well with the sweet barbecue sauce.

The last and best step! We ate ours on a bed of mashed sweet potatoes, which combined well with the sweet barbecue sauce.

 

I am definitely adding this recipe to my list of easy go to meals. The sauce was a little too sweet for my taste, so next time I might add some red pepper flakes to spice it up or maybe leave out the preserves.

What’s your favorite way to use up whiskey?

XOXO,
Jules

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