I went with Maker’s Mark as a safe but reliable choice, something of good enough quality to give the chicken that rich, characteristic bourbon flavor without being too overpowering. (It also makes for some great cocktails. Mint julep, anyone?) If you are a bit more daring and have a bit more of a liquor budget, though (or if you or your S.O. enjoy a glass of neat or lightly iced bourbon once in a while), there is a great selection of high-quality and aged bourbons out there.
I hear that Maple Hill is a good choice for something a bit oaky but not too overwhelming. For that matter, though this dish is traditionally served over rice (and tastes great that way), I believe that you could substitute your favorite bed of choice; you just want something relatively neutral-flavored that will absorb the sauce really well. Enjoy!
1½ lbs. chicken thighs (Boneless skinless works the best)
½ cup low sodium soy sauce (I used Kikkoman; you could also go with a more organic option like San-J)
¼ cup oil
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup bourbon (I went with Maker’s Mark)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon crushed or sliced ginger (fresh, not dried)
4 cloves crushed garlic
4-5 green onions, cut into thirds or sliced
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
THE NIGHT BEFORE: Combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, bourbon, and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Place the chicken in a baking dish (a casserole pan or something with high sides) with lid and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss in the ginger, garlic, and half of the green onions. Cover and marinate overnight (or for as many hours as you have before baking).
THE DAY OF: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the chicken and bake directly in the marinade for 45 minutes, basting the chicken with the sauce periodically and/or turning the pieces upside down to get them baking in the sauce on both sides. Cook the rice according to package directions.
When the chicken is done, turn the oven temperature to broil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to get a nice, browned exterior on the chicken. Remove and serve whole or cut, with extra sauce and scallions, over the rice.
Quick tip: Choose whole grain brown rice for an even healthier option.
Thanks to Pinch of Yum for this delicious recipe.