Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bourbon Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Butternut Squash

I love adding alcohol to my recipes. I love the sound as it pours out of the bottle into the pan—ga-gulp, ga-gulp, ga-gulp. I love the sound as it pours out of the bottle into my mouth—ga-gulp, ga-gulp, ga-gulp. Awww, I’m just joshin’ ya’ll. It actually sounds more like swish, swoosh, swish.

But seriously, alcohol does something special to meat marinades that cannot easily be replicated with other ingredients. It offers a lively twist. Packs a powerful punch. Add enough, and you might even feel a little tipsy when you’re all finished. Not sure if it’s the alcohol in the food, or the alcohol that rolled down my tongue during the preparation process, but either way, cooking with alcohol can be fun!

That aside, the main reason why I began creating my own marinades is because so many of the store bought ones have ingredients that don’t work for our family, mainly in the form of soy sauce and corn syrup. Creating your own marinade is cheap and easy—and really fun when alcohol is involved. Hello dancing in the kitchen :)

Enjoy this really simple Bourbon Grilled Chicken recipe. Place it over Caramelized Butternut Squash and you might find yourself in heaven by the time your plate is clean.

Bourbon Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Butternut Squash

Serves: 4
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus 4-7 hours to marinate)
Level: Easy
Total Ingredients: 10

Marinade Ingredients:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon
1/8 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp crushed celery seed
10 turns freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly cut

Caramelized Butternut Squash Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash
2 TBS canola oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Marinade Instructions:
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup Kentucky bourbon, 1/8 cup rice vinegar, 1 tsp garlic salt, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp crushed celery seed and 10 turns fresh ground black pepper. Trim fat from the boneless skinless chicken breasts. If they are thick to start with, cut them in half widthwise so that the meat is no more than an inch thick. Mix the chicken into the marinade. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 - 7 hours. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor.

Caramelized Butternut Squash Instructions:
Peel skin off butternut squash with a swivel peeler. Cut in half lengthwise and gut the seeds out. Slice the squash lengthwise into long flat pieces no more than a 1/2 inch thick. Mix together 2 TBS canola oil, 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 10 turns freshly ground black pepper. Rub both sides of each slice with this mixture. Now rub in the brown sugar to both sides of each slice. Reserve some brown sugar for once the grilling gets going.

Grilling Instructions:
Turn the fire on. Wait for the grill to heat up. Reduce flame to medium-low. Place the butternut squash and marinated chicken on the cooking grid. Close the lid.

Grill the squash for approximately 15 minutes, turning once at 7 minutes. Place a little more brown sugar on top of each slice after it's been turned over. Squash is done when it is easily penetrable with a fork and flimsy when picked up. The sugar should be nicely caramelized on each side.

Grill the chicken for approximately 11 minutes, turning once at 6 minutes.

Serve each chicken breast over a slice of caramelized butternut squash. Serve it up with Bush's Grillin' Beans ~ Bourbon and Brown Sugar. Heaven!


Patsy Cline - Blue Moon of Kentucky

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