Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

Local, pastured chicken brined overnight with garlic, peppercorns and lemon peel, then slow-roasted with homemade coarse mustard, wild honey, fresh tarragon and Kentucky bourbon..

Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

For the Brine (adapted from a sub-recipe by Thomas Keller)

8 cups filtered water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 oz raw honey
6 bay leaves
10 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a pot and boil for 1 minute to dissolve the salt.  Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.  Add chicken pieces to the brine and press to submerge.  Refrigerate overnight.

For the Glaze

1/4 cup homemade coarse mustard
2 tablespoons raw honey
2 tablespoons pastured butter, melted
1 1/2 oz good Kentucky bourbon
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white onion, minced
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper

To prepare

Drain chicken and pat dry.  Lightly coat on all sides with glaze , then place in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes.  Turn up the heat to 375 and cook another 10-15 minutes until the skin has crisped and the juices run clear.

17 thoughts on “Kentucky Bourbon-Glazed Chicken

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  2. Ren, it seems like Thomas Keller uses a lot of canola oil. What’s your take on that? I always thought this was something to avoid?

    • Trust your instinct! There are hundreds of otherwise fantastic cookbooks out there- just substitute grass-fed meat, pastured dairy, good fats and pesticide-free vegetables as needed.

      Butter or ghee, chicken, duck or goose fat, lard, beef tallow and coconut oil are all good for cooking. Olive and flax oil eaten raw are good. Corn, soy, safflower, cottonseed and canola are bad.

    • Here’s a simple recipe for lacto-fermented mustard

      1/4 cup organic whole yellow mustard seeds
      1/4 cup organic whole brown mustard seeds (hotter than yellow)
      1/3 cup filtered water
      2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon wildflower honey (optional)
      2 tablespoons whey
      1 teaspoon sea salt
      juice of 1 small lemon, more or less to taste
      2 cloves garlic

      Blend everything together in a food processor, adjusting consistency, if necessary, with additional filtered water.

      Cover tightly and allow to stand at room temperature for 3 days before transferring to the refrigerator. Will keep for about 4 months.

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  6. This looks amazing, and I will definitely be trying it this weekend. One question, because I like to understand: why unpeeled garlic in the brine? It seems like this would prevent any garlic flavor from making it into the final product. I would think a couple of cracked cloves would be better than a dozen unpeeled. Why did you use this method? (FYI: I found your site via StumbleUpon.)

    • Great question!

      In short, it is my personal preference for this application. When cracked or crushed, garlic cloves release an essential oil that can have a bitter or sharp taste. Unpeeled garlic results in a more nuanced flavor.

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