Kentucky’s Best Bourbon-Glazed Thighs

This is the gooey, yummy barbecue sauce you think of from the South. The addition of bourbon really makes it special.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup molasses

2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons yellow prepared mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon pure ground hot chile (you may experiment with really hot chiles here if desired such as the habanero or even hotter—the sweetness of the sauce allows you to tolerate more “heat”)

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

1/3 cup bourbon

12 chicken thighs, butterflied to remove bones and skinned

2 lemons, thinly sliced (optional)

1 onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (optional)

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup onion and cook until clear. Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, pepper, ground chile, and salt. Reduce heat to low to simmer until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in bourbon, and cook until heated through.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or broiler to medium heat. Grill chicken until the flesh is lightly browned and juices run clear, about 12 minutes per side. When done, brush each side with barbecue sauce and heat in a moderate oven 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer thighs to a warmed platter and serve with reserved sauce in a bowl. Garnish with thin lemon and onion slices, if desired.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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