Thursday, 19 January 2012

Peach and whiskey chicken

This really ought to be called Chicken in Jam, because that's what is it. I made it following a medium amount of fuss about its excellence on Twitter and I'm really not sure about it. In fact, I will go out on a limb and say I actually didn't like it. Sorry, yet another bum recipe from me. What can I say? It's an unlucky streak.

It's a recipe from a wildly popular American blog called The Pioneer Woman, who is on her SECOND cookbook by the way. If I never hear about another blogger who's got a flaming bookdeal it will be 8 million years too soon.

Anyway and in this recipe she covers a lot of chicken in whiskey and jam and sticks it in the oven for 1.5 hours. The thing about Americans - and I say this with the proviso that I really, really like Americans - is that they don't half eat a truckload of chicken. And I think they think it probably gets boring, so to liven it up they do things with it like cover it in jam. It's terribly French. The problem with this recipe is there's not much to counter-balance the overwhelming sweetness - there's no sourness and no heat. So what you're left with really just is chicken in jam.

But if that kind of thing sounds right up your street, it is a terrific recipe.

Peach and Whiskey Chicken (aka Chicken in Jam)
8 chicken thighs
about a wineglass full of whiskey
1/2 a jar of peach jam (Tiptree do one, available from Waitrose)
1 bottle of barbeque sauce (I used one by Paul Newman because I LOVE Paul Newman)
some garlic cloves
1 large or two medium onions
groundnut oil and butter for frying

Preheat your oven to 180C

1 Melt some oil and butter together in a pot - (the Pioneer Woman recommends a "big ol' pot", which just made me hate her, I'm afraid) - and brown your chicken in it. Ho hum, what a boring thing this is to do. But make sure they are nice and brown.

2 Remove the chicken to a plate. Chop up your onions and fry these off for about 5 minutes. Add the booze and cook down for about 3 minutes. Then add in the barbeque sauce (I wondered here why I wasn't just making barbeque chicken) and then spoon in half the jar of peach jam. The recipe says the whole jar but, like, fuck that. Whisk this all together with a few garlic cloves.

3 Put the chicken and the resting juices back in the pot, cover with a lid and cook for 1.5 hours. My husband said it was nice and went back for seconds but what the hell does he know. I had two pieces and then developed a terrible headache.


  1. I like "if I never hear about another blogger who's got a flaming bookdeal it will be 8 million years too soon".

  2. Brilliant. As always. I promise to never ever cook this in your honour.

  3. There is no accounting for some people's tastes. This sounds suitably horrific and I will never ever give it a go.

  4. I looked at her site one day, too much going on for my liking so never went back.

  5. I adore The Pioneer Woman! She's so darn wholesome. Her husband is a cowboy! She lives on a ranch! She has pet basset hounds.

    I ENTIRELY prefer you though. And Kitty is a thousand times better/more beaut than TPW's vaguely unattractive children. Therefore, to show where my loyalties lies, I will never make this meal. xx

  6. What I don't understand.. is if you're going to write a cookbook with a recipe for Peach Whiskey chicken how is using peach jam & barbie sauce a recipe really?

    Would it be a crime to use fresh peaches? Therein lies what I dislike about about a lot of American recipes. There's just a lot of processed shit in them.

  7. The grandmother of one of my school friends used to make this - her version had some powdered french onion soup in it as well and she cooked it in a pressure cooker. It was bad in the 80s, I can't believe it's getting another run now!

  8. Urgh, this sounds grim, it sets my teeth off on a sugar related edge just reading the ingredients list.

    I've had mixed results with Pioneer Woman recipes - her Trinidadian curry was a disaster owing to what I believe were completely insane salt levels. Then last week in a fit of PMT I made her choc chip cookie sweet rolls expecting them to come out dreadfully and they were fantastic.

  9. I don't even know if that can be called a recipe. But if she's got a bookdeal - then I suppose it must be.

  10. I am such a huge chicken thigh fan and I made pretty much this exact dish last night but I used a jar of marmalade... bloody fantastic!

  11. Canadians eat a lot of chicken, too, unfortunately, and it does get boring no matter what you stick it in.

    This sounds rather awful, actually. Imagine if you'd put the whole thing of jam in.

  12. The rule of thumb with Pioneer Woman seems to be to avoid a lot of the savoury stuff as its either too sweet or not really made from scratch but rather a mix of store bought and homemade, but to go with the sweet treats. They are inevitably rather sweet, as she is American and they seem to use double the amount of sugar needed in a recipe. I have made her key lime pie which turned out well but yes, was on the verge of sickly. Her ranch style chicken was rather tame in terms of sugar levels but nothing exceptionally wonderful unless you're looking for something rather tame flavourwise for fussy eaters.

    There are a few websites out there that are dedicated to criticising Pioneer Woman (including the rather unimaginative which I think may be taking things a bit far.

  13. Hmm, i don't reckon it sounds *too* bad. In Australia we have a very retro dish called Apricot Chicken, it's basically bits of chicken, some tinned apricots and a packet of onion soup powder. And as vile as that sounds, its actually not half bad served with a bit of rice!