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The History of Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken Recipe

Although Bourbon chicken is thought to come from Bourbon street in Louisiana this recipe has its roots in Kentucky. The majority of bourbon is barreled in this state (Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Buffalo Trace, Woodford Reserve, Knob Creek, McKenna, etc.) Bourbon takes its name from Bourbon County (named for the French royal family) in Kentucky. And while Bourbon can be made anywhere in the U. S., all but a couple of brands are made in Kentucky, and Kentucky is the only state that is allowed to put its name on the bottle. Jack Daniel's and George Dickel are barreled in Tennessee, but they are not bourbons, contrary to popular belief. They are sour mash whiskies distilled through charcoal, which is not part of the bourbon process.

I am not a Kentucky native, so I don't mind telling you that, if it will sit
still long enough, Kentuckians will soak it in bourbon. The chicken thing is
a no-brainer.

More about the Name Bourbon

Another interesting story about the French royal family is the effect it had
on the naming of the streets in the French Quarter of New Orleans. King
Louis, having received the plans with street grid for the Quarter, set about
assigning street names. He labeled the main street "Bourbon" -- his family
name, and Royal, Burgundy, etc. He then named the cross streets for his
children: Toulous, Dumaine, Orleans, Conti, etc. But because the kids fought
all the time, King Louis alternated the kid-named street with streets named
after saints.

As you travel down Bourbon Street, you cross Iberville and Bienville, two
famous French military men (Generals, I think) who "guard" the entrance to
the Quarter. You then cross Conti, St. Louis, Toulouse, St. Peter, Orleans,
St. Ann, Dumaine, St. Philip, etc. in just that order.

King Louis felt that by setting a saint (street) between each of his kid's
(street), he could keep the peace.

Those French! Gotta love 'em!

Patti Charron
Louisville, Kentucky


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