Pan Roasted Chicken with Moonshine Raisin Sauce and Creamy Grits

April 27, 2016

It’s the sauce that makes this chicken dish a winner. It takes time for the sauce to cook as the stock first needs to reduce, but then the magic begins. Moonshine and raisins are simmered together until the fruit becomes scrumptiously plump. The dynamic duo is then added to the reduced stock where the flavors meld into joyous harmony. It’s worth doubling up on this recipe and freezing some for future meals (it would be divine on roasted pork).

To complete the meal, pan roast your chicken (a bit of salt and pepper is all you need for seasoning) and cook up some creamy grits. Easy peasy. Place the roasted chicken breasts atop of the grits and spoon the luscious moonshine raisin sauce over the top.

It’s the perfect Southern dish to serve for your Kentucky Derby party along with a Mint Julep or two. Giddy up, ponies!

Pan Roasted Chicken with Moonshine Raisin Sauce and Creamy Grits
Courtesy of Levy Restaurants
Makes 4 servings

The Moonshine Raisin Sauce must reduce down to two cups and this can take a few hours, so start making your sauce early!

For the Moonshine Raisin Sauce:
2 quarts chicken stock
10 tablespoons moonshine (you can use whiskey if you can’t find moonshine)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup raisins
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large heavy bottom saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Turn heat down to the lowest heat setting and allow to simmer for several hours until stock has reduced to 2 cups. Turn heat back to medium high and bring to a boil.  In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of Moonshine to make a slurry.  Whisk the slurry into the reduced stock and bring the liquid back to a boil.  Once the stock mixture boils, turn heat to low and let simmer.  In another small saucepan add 4 tablespoons of moonshine to 1 cup of water and bring to a simmer.  Once the liquid simmers add in the raisins.  Cook raisins until plump and add this mixture to the thickened stock.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then its ready to serve.

For the Pan Roasted Chicken:
4   6-8-ounce chicken breasts or legs
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Season the chicken with a generous amount of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Allow them to come up to room temperature while you preheat a pan over medium-medium high heat. Test that the pan is nice and hot by sprinkling a bit of water in it; it should instantly evaporate.

Add in a tablespoon of olive oil.

Cook the chicken in 2 batches: start with 2 chicken breasts skin-side-down into a prepared pan. Let those cook for 6-8 minutes or so. Don’t move them around the pan or you may tear the skin. Carefully turn the breasts over and cook for 4 minutes. Remove them to a clean plate and repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

Once all four chicken breasts are seared and crispy, place them all into the pan and slide into a preheated 350 degree oven to roast for a quick 15-20 minutes to finish cooking.

For the Creamy Grits:

2 cups water
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1  teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking grits
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick butter

In a small pot, bring the water, milk, and salt to a boil.

Slowly whisk in the grits and stir continuously until grits are well mixed.

Return to a boil, cover with a lid, then lower the temperature, and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.   

Stir in the cream and butter and serve.

To serve:

Divide the grits among 4 plates. Top each with a chicken breast and spoon Moonshine Raisin Sauce over the top.