Photo by Chris Chapman, Flickr commons
Many home cooks are looking for delicious quick and easy recipes to prepare for their families instead of the same boring meals they serve everyday. This is easily accomplished. There are many recipes out there that are not only fast and simple to prepare but is also possible to take one basic food concept and create numerous different meals.
One of these concepts is Bourbon Chicken, which takes its name from the famous street in New Orleans, Louisiana and the whiskey ingredient. This tasty dish is advertised as a Cajun style meal, however reportedly it is not genuine Cajun or creole style cuisine. Whether its origins are Cajun or not it is a delicious addition to any dinner table. Even though bourbon is in the name you don’t need the alcohol to create a flavorful version at home.
If you are a fan of Chinese food takeout this is the recipe for you:
Of course you will need chicken, 2 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast tenders or if you prefer dark meat, boneless chicken thighs. Cut your choice of chicken into bite sized pieces, in a medium frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil (again whatever kind you prefer). While the oil is heating put the chicken into a bowl and toss with a handful or two of cornstarch until all the chicken is coated. Toss the coated chicken into the hot oil and cook until lightly brown. Take the time your chicken is in the skillet to put together the sauce in a medium saucepan. Mis together a crushed clove of garlic, a quarter of a teaspoon of ginger, a quarter of a cup each of apple juice and light brown sugar, three quarters of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (if you like a little more heat raise this to one teaspoon), one tablespoon of cider vinegar, one half cup of water, two tablespoons of ketchup, one third cup of soy sauce and finally a pinch or two of cornstarch. Make sure all these ingredients are well mixed, and then add the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. If the sauce isn’t thickening to your liking add another pinch of cornstarch and simmer for a few more minutes. Prepare your favorite rice and serve your Bourbon chicken on a bed of it. Feel free to add your choice of stir fry veggies in with the chicken as you are cooking it.
For those home cooks who just don’t have the time or energy to deal with all that chopping and crushing there are Bourbon chicken seasoning packets that take all the work out of the sauce. There are also fewer ingredients to deal with as well. To make this recipe just take the seasoning packet and mix with one cup of water, two tablespoons of soy sauce and one third cup of brown sugar in a medium sauce pot, bring to a boil. After a good boil is going lower the heat to medium. Dice one pound of chicken breast strips into one to one half inch cubes and put (raw) into sauce. Cook for about eight minutes then lower the heat to simmer. Make sure to let the mixture cook for at least 20 minutes to ensure the chicken has been thoroughly cooked through. Serve over rice and you have a very quick and flavorful dish that tastes like you have slaved over a stove for hours.
This next recipe will appeal to cooks that like a recipe with minimal ingredients as well as those who enjoy the slightly more hands on approach to cooking.
In this recipe which serves 4, you need to cut up three pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breast in a bowl. Combine a 14 ounce bottle of barbecue sauce, two tablespoons of bourbon, two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and two tablespoons of Dijon mustard in the bowl with the chicken. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for two hours to overnight. When it’s time to start cooking preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then pour the marinated chicken into a baking dish without a cover. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes, basting ever so often will keep your chicken moist and flavorful. Cooked rice or your favorite vegetables make great side dishes to this meal.