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Cooking With Whiskey

Slice Of Life

By Eileen Goltz

We recently had a potluck party and one of the couples brought a bottle of white whiskey as a hostess gift. They had recently been to the Koval distillery in Chicago and knew my husband to be a fan, so they brought a bottle back for him. They raved about the tour they took, and not being a drinker of whiskey myself and trying to show off just a little, I made the mistake of asking if it was bourbon or whiskey. What followed was a discourse on the difference between whiskey and bourbon and I learned the following.

Every bourbon made is a whiskey, but not all whiskeys are or become bourbon. To become a bourbon, the whiskey has to go through a pretty extensive distillation process and bourbon is strictly an American product. Whiskey is made anywhere in the world. The color can vary from clear to deep golden brown.

The white whiskey we received was a big hit and made the half bottles of the other stuff we’ve had on the shelf for the past 10 years (not big drinkers here) seem like something we needed to get rid of to make room for the good stuff. Not wanting to “waste,” I decided that, much as I like to use the last bits of wine in the bottle for cooking, I’d whip up a few recipes utilizing the stuff we had left.

The following is a hodgepodge of fun and different recipes that will help you utilize any leftovers that might be gathering dust in your liquor cabinet. For those who don’t or can’t include liquor in any form in their diet, I will suggest that you use white grape juice, or rum or almond flavoring, as a substitute. Note, however, that when you cook with alcohol of any kind, the cooking process burns off the alcohol and leaves only the flavor. v

Bourbon Chicken

Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (or 8 thighs)

1 tsp. ground ginger

2 oz. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. minced onion

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup bourbon

½ tsp. garlic powder


Place chicken breasts in a 9”×13” glass baking dish. In a bowl, combine the ginger, soy sauce, onion flakes, sugar, bourbon, and garlic powder. Whisk together and pour mixture over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°. Uncover the chicken and bake, basting frequently, for 1 to 1½ hours or until chicken is well browned. Serve with rice or in a bun.

Bourbon Chicken 2

Serves 2


2 boneless and skinless chicken breast halves—cut into ½-inch pieces (or 6 thighs)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

¼ tsp. garlic powder

1 cup pineapple juice

3 Tbsp. bourbon/whiskey

⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. brown sugar


In a skillet, sauté the chicken pieces in the olive oil. Cook just until there is no pink in the center. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, garlic powder, pineapple juice, whiskey, pepper, cornstarch, and sugar. Whisk to combine and then pour the mixture over the chicken. Cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally for 10–15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Serve over rice or in a bun.

Jack Daniel’s

Whiskey Cake

Dairy or pareve. Makes 16 servings.


2¼ cups flour

2¼ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

4 eggs

½ cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

1 cup chopped pecans

1 package (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

hot buttered whiskey glaze (recipe follows)


Heat oven to 325°. Grease a 9”×13” baking pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in the brown sugar, eggs, Jack Daniel’s, and flour mixture, stirring well after each addition. Pour batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and chocolate chips. Bake 45–50 minutes or until center of the cake is firm and edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool on a wire rack and drizzle with glaze.

Note: Cake may be baked in a greased 10” tube pan. Increase the baking time to 1 hour. Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Drizzle with the glaze.

Hot Buttered

Whiskey Glaze


¼ cup melted butter or margarine

2 cups powdered sugar

⅓ cup plus 3 Tbsp. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

1 tsp. vanilla


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Blend well with a wooden spoon. Drizzle over the cake.

Modified from

Whiskey Glazed

Sweet Potatoes

Dairy or pareve


¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter or margarine

¼ cup honey

2 Tbsp. whiskey

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

3 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

¾ tsp. kosher salt

¾ tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 2-quart casserole. In small saucepan, combine the butter, honey, whiskey, and sugar. Whisk until butter and sugar are melted, reduce to a simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. In large bowl, combine the potatoes with butter mixture, salt, and pepper. Place the mixture into the prepared dish and bake, tossing occasionally, until tender and glazed, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Modified from

Tequila Lime Chicken


½ cup tequila

1 cup fresh lime juice (5 to 6 limes)

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (2 oranges); with pulp is best

1 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. minced fresh jalapeño pepper (1 pepper, seeded)

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 whole (6 split) boneless chicken breasts, skin on*

*I have used boneless skinless chicken thighs


In a large glass bowl, combine the tequila, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeño pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breasts. Refrigerate overnight.

Heat the grill pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade, sprinkle well with salt and pepper, and grill skin-side down for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn the chicken and cook for another 10 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the grill to a plate. Cover tightly and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Modified from an Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa recipe

© Eileen Goltz

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher foods writer. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes columns for the CJN in Chicago,, and the OU Shabbat Shalom website, She also wrote the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim).

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Posted by on July 6, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.