I've had a bottle of cinnamon whiskey in my collection of whiskeys for years. I don't know how I ended up with it. Maybe I got it as a novelty item for a party, or perhaps someone brought it and left it. Nevertheless, it's been in the house for several years and only recently made a move from the downstairs bar into the upstairs kitchen. I finally found a recipe in which I can use it: Cinnamon Whiskey Chicken.
If you're tired of the same skillet chicken dinners week after week, this recipe knocks the socks off of others. It brings a chicken breast to life with a zesty, spicy kick of cinnamon whiskey married with sriracha sauce and a touch of honey for sweetness.
Had I been making this dish for myself I would have used two full tablespoons of sriracha sauce. But in making it for my tender-palated family, I cut down on the amount of the spicy sriracha. When blended with the other sauce ingredients — honey, soy sauce and lime juice — it was perfect — slightly sweet, slightly spicy. It's got everything you want in a sauce to rev up the flavor of chicken
I served this with sticky rice, so I doubled the amount of ingredients for the sauce so that I could spoon some of it over the rice. Since the sauce had an Asian flair, I felt that sticky rice was the perfect side dish, along with a platter of egg rolls from my nearest Chinese restaurant.
As most seasoned cooks know, the alcohol burns off as it cooks, so if you're a teetotaler, no worries. This whiskey was made for eating.
Cinnamon Whiskey Chicken
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened slightly with mallet
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup cinnamon whiskey
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons honey
1-2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 lime, cut into half moons
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped, optional
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden, 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
In same skillet, melt butter. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute, then add cinnamon whiskey, lime juice, sriracha, honey and soy sauce. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Add limes, and return chicken to mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, basting chicken with the sauce as it simmers. Garnish with chives before serving. Makes 4-5 servings.
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Contact Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org.