I’ve kiddingly said but maybe with some seriousness that I should do a Maple Bourbon Bacon cookbook. It all started when I cured my own Maple Bourbon Bacon a couple of years ago. Maple was a no-brainer but putting it in the oven to cook with some bourbon in the pan led to something so fantastic I was hooked. I’ve done Maple Bourbon Bacon Jam, Maple Bourbon Bacon Nuts and more so why not chicken? More appropriately, why have I not done this before now? This Maple Bourbon Chicken with Bacon brings together all the best of all of those parts. The sweetness of maple, the depth of flavor when combined with bourbon, the bacon, well it’s BACON and the last secret, just a bit of heat with some cayenne to not make this all sweetness and light. It is, in a word (or four) OMG Good!
I did find another recipe to use for inspiration; while I often search for similar recipes AFTER THE FACT, this time I was long on ideas but short on time and thought I had recalled seeing something a couple of years ago. Yep…and the recipe at Hungry Mouse was much what I wanted to do. I loved her technique to mix the chicken with spices first before flouring, assuring that ALL of the spices are used in coating the chicken; great idea. Also loved using bacon fat to cook the chicken; I’m glad to see people are over thinking bacon fat is bad. It is anything but…you want flavor, it’s got it in spades.
My biggest change was not using cloves. I couldn’t do it. There are few things I don’t like and over the years I’ve tried enough to give things another chance to just know when it’s a no go and for me one of those things is cloves. She used whiskey and I used Maker’s Mark bourbon; to many they are either the same or similar so you choose (nice article detailing the difference). I preferred to up the heat quotient a bit too and add a bit more cayenne pepper and everyone loved it so that’s my recipe. I used a bit more chicken too and there was plenty of sauce to go around. No way was a pound of chicken going to serve 4 people that I feed. Maybe two. 🙂
This dish is another I’ve made with friends that participate in the Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast. Be sure you take a peek after the recipe for their fabulous take on chicken; THE white (and dark!) meat.
Feed Me Phoebe: Easy Vietnamese Chicken Pho with Bok Choy and Herbs (Pho Ga)
The Lemon Bowl: Thai Chicken Satay with Sriracha Hoisin Peanut Sauce
The Heritage Cook: Chicken Divan with Roasted Vegetables (Gluten Free)
Creative Culinary: Maple Bourbon Chicken with Bacon
Dishing with Divya: Chicken Bones and Vegetable Soup
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Whole Roasted Tandoori Chicken
Taste with the Eyes: Fabulous Filipino Chicken Adobo
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chicken with Spinach & Artichoke Dip Sauce
Red or Green: Spicy Chicken, Rice & Black Bean Bake
FN Dish: Classic vs. Creative: Your Pick of Top Chicken Comfort Foods