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Slice of Life

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Bourbon, whiskey good in dishes

We recently had a pot luck 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 on the other hand can and is, made anywhere in the world. The color can vary from clear to deep golden brown.

The following recipes all use some form of liquor; for those that don’t or can’t include liquor in any form in their diet, I will suggest that you use white grape juice as a substitute or rum or almond flavoring. You should know, however, when you cook with alcohol of any kind, the cooking process burns off the alcohol and leaves only the flavor.

Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Cake

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

4 eggs

1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

1 cup chopped pecans

1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Hot Buttered Whiskey Glaze:

1/4 cup melted butter

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

1/3 cup Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

1 teaspoon vanilla

For cake: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch 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, flour mixture and whiskey, stirring well after each addition. Pour batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle evenly with pecans and chocolate chips. Bake 45 to 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. Makes 16 servings.

Note: Cake may be baked in a greased 10-inch 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.

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

– Modified from

Bourbon Chicken

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

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2 ounces soy sauce

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup bourbon

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Place chicken breasts in a 9-by-13-inch 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 degrees. Uncover the chicken and bake, basting frequently, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is well browned. Serve with rice or in a bun. Serves 4.

Whiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons whiskey

2 tablespoons brown sugar

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

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart casserole. In small saucepan combine the butter, honey, whiskey and sugar. Bring the mixture to simmer, whisking 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

Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.