Bourbon Chicken: sweet, gooey entree


Donna Degen of Rapid City, S.D., has been seeking a bourbon-chicken recipe for some time. She writes that she went on the Internet looking for it and found many people who were also seeking this same recipe.

"I know it is served at the Cajun Cafe as well as many restaurants, but I can't find it and sure would appreciate your assistance in this matter," she wrote.

Antonia Hartnett of Timonium responded with a recipe and a note. "Enclosed please find the Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken recipe I found on the Internet at www.kitchenlink .com. This Web site has quite an assortment of 'copycat' recipes from various eateries nationwide; I would recommend it to your readers. Note: This emulates the bourbon chicken at the Cajun Cafe in Houston, Texas only."

Bourbon Chicken

Serves 4

2 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 cup white-grape juice (divided use)

1/2 cup bourbon

1 1/2 pounds of chicken thigh meat or other dark meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Mix teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, ginger, brown sugar, 1/2 cup white-grape juice and bourbon. Stir until thoroughly blended.

Pour 1/3 sauce on chicken pieces and mix. Refrigerate for 3 hours or best overnight. Save remaining sauce and refrigerate separately. Braise chicken with marinade on medium-low heat until cooked through.

Remove chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add remaining 2/3 sauce to pan with remaining 1/2 cup grape juice, granulated sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Add chicken to sauce and stir until chicken is coated and ready to serve.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "I would delete the water from the recipe - there is plenty of sauce without this addition, and it's nice to have the sauce reduced to more of a glaze. The resulting dish is a sweet, gooey entree with a hint of bourbon flavor.

"Serve it over rice and spoon a bit of the sauce over the top. It would be nice with sauteed red bell peppers or sweet onions also braised in the glaze. The chicken pieces could also be served as a hot hors d'oeuvre with toothpicks."

Recipe requests

Sherrey L. Hymer of Merced, Calif., wants a tea-cake recipe that she had in the '50s and has not had since. "I've tried for years to find this tea-cake recipe," she wrote, and went on to describe "a small square cake with a raised center and a dab of maple-colored frosting on it." She added: "I used to buy them in Burbank, Calif., at a bakery called Martinos. I hope you can help. Thanks."

Barbara Pierce of Salem, Ore., writes: "I have appreciated the recipes that you have found and have been printed in the Statesman Journal in Salem. I am looking for a custard-bread-pudding recipe that leaves a half-inch layer of custard at the bottom of the pan. It is wonderful and is served at Burtons Restaurant in Corvallis, Ore. I would appreciate knowing how to make this tea cake. I've tried many recipes but to no avail and hope an experienced recipe finder will have better luck."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.

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