Ever make-up a dish that you think can’t fail, and it comes out a total mess?

Well, this wasn’t a disaster, but there was something missing.

I took a recipe for Maple Bourbon Beef and figured, Maple Bourbon Chicken sounds just as good, right? Since I didn’t have any cow in the fridge but had plenty of poultry, I figured, why not?

A fairly simple recipe: marinate, saute, simmer, done.

But it came out too sweet and missing something. It was like it was supposed to be Asian-fusion-esque but was missing the actual Asian part.

So if you’re going to make the Bourbon Beef Bowl, just follow the recipe. If you’re going to make the Bourbon Chicken Soup, maybe add some snow peas, serve it over rice, or come up with a side dish that counters the maple/bourbon sweetness.

Serves 4-6
1/2 cup boubron
1/2 cup maple syrup

garlic: 2 Tsp minced or 4-5 cloves
1 tsp salt (kosher or sea)
1 tsp ground black pepper

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 sweet potato, 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup (total) of sliced red peppers, carrots, leeks, mushrooms (your call on the mix)

2 cups dry egg noodles
2-3 cups fresh spinach
scallions for garnish

For Beef:
1 lb boneless beef sirloin, thinly sliced
2 cups beef broth

For Chicken:
3-4 chicken breasts, cubed or thinly sliced
2 cups chicken stock

Mix the bourbon, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper, and pour into a bowl over the sliced beef or chicken. Marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to one day, covered in the fridge.

When you’re ready to get started, transfer the beef/chicken into another bowl or plate using a slotted spoon. Save the marinade for later.

Heat 1-2 Tsp of olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pan. For beef, sauté for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to another plate. For chicken, go with 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the meat is browned on all sides. Again, transfer to another plate.

Check your oil level, and add another Tsp if needed, and then sauté the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the other veggies and sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Add the broth or stock and marinade, and then water so that the veggies are covered by about an inch. Add the sweet potato and bring to a boil.

If you’re using chicken, then at this point add the chicken and noodles. When the soup returns to a boil, reduce the heat slightly to medium or medium high and cook for 10 minutes. Check one piece of sweet potato and one piece of chicken, and if both are done, reduce heat to low, add the spinach, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until the spinach has wilted.

If you’re using the beef, add the beef the same time that you add the spinach.

Bowl it up and top with a sprinkle of scallions.

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