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Old Bay Chicken with Bourbon Cream Sauce

This recipe was inspired by a recent, amateur cooking competition in Boston where the winner used his "secret weapon", a bottle of a favorite bourbon whiskey.  His idea of using bourbon creatively in savory dishes struck a cord, in part I suppose, because of the success I've enjoyed using bourbon in desserts.  This recipe features tender, juicy chicken breasts served with a to-die-for bourbon cream sauce.  Serve over a bed of egg noodles or fluffy white rice.


4 large   boneless chicken breasts halves
up to 2 cups   fresh asparagus tips
2 tablespoons   olive oil
2 tablespoons   butter
½ cup   AP flour
¼ cup   Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon   salt
1 teaspoon   black pepper
4 cups   heavy cream
½ cup   bourbon
1/3 cup   chicken broth

Combine the flour, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper in a one gallon plastic bag - shake well to mix. Drop each breast half in the bag with the flour mixture a    nd shake to coat the chicken thoroughly. Place the breasts on a platter and set in the refrigerator for a half-hour. This allows the flour coating to adhere to the chicken and prevent it from coming off in the pan while browning.  Just before sautéing, coat the chicken with the flour mixture again.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the chicken for 2-3 minutes on the first side until golden brown. Turn the chicken and brown the second side for 2-3 minutes. After turning the chicken stir in the asparagus. When the second side is browned add the broth and the bourbon, cover and slowly simmer for 10 minutes. Test chicken for doneness as the size of the breast may require an additional minute or two of simmering. Remove the chicken to serving platter and keep in a warm oven.

Add the heavy cream to the asparagus, bourbon and pan drippings.  Over a medium-low fire simmer the sauce to reduce, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.  If additional thickening is desired use a Beurre Manié

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.




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