PDA

View Full Version : Exploding Bourbon Chicken



jburlowski
05-02-2008, 18:27
Tonoght I made bourbon chicken for tomorrow's Derby Party. I use a fairly standard recipe: chicken thigh meat in a sauce of several cups of bourbon (I used BT), some white wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, etc. It goes in an uncovered baking dish in a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes.

Four or five times during the last half of the baking, an explosive fireball erupted; blowing the oven door open with a ball of flame. On several of these ocassions, the sauce actually caught on fire as well and had to be blown out. I think our problem is that we have an electric oven. The bourbon fumes build up until they reach the critical point where the heat ignites them. I would imagine that the flame in a gas oven would burn them off before they got to that density.

Needless to say, it made for an exciting evening.... anyone else had a similar experience?

callmeox
05-02-2008, 19:21
I think I would have found an alternative method of cooking after the first fireball. :bigeyes:

:grin:

NeoTexan
05-03-2008, 05:03
I think I would have found an alternative method of cooking after the first fireball. :bigeyes:

:grin:

The "four or five times" also popped out at me in the post. :bigeyes:

barturtle
05-03-2008, 08:06
The "four or five times" also popped out at me in the post. :bigeyes:

The "several cups of bourbon" popped out at me...

You know...if you have an outdoor gas grill you can use that for baking as well

AVB
05-03-2008, 08:07
I make a bourbon BBQ sauce that uses a whole 750ml bottle but it isn't an enclosed space like your oven. If this is a "standard" recipe does that mean you've used it before or that it is one out of a book? What were the previous results?

jburlowski
05-03-2008, 09:58
It is a standard recipe... same thing happened the last time (which was a few years ago). Then I was using GTS, which led me to believe that the ultra-high proof was the problem.

As to why I didn't stop after the first time? Well... I hate to see all that bourbon & chicken go to waste and I was halyway through the cooking time. I also assumed that, since the oven door (it's built-into the wall) is farirly light and swings freely, that no real harm would come from it.

Plus hey, I'm a guy and exploding things are kinda neat. I suggested to my wife that it might look even better with the lights out... but all I got was "the look".

bluesbassdad
05-03-2008, 11:10
John,

I am envious.

Although I'm no more than a subsistence cook as a rule, I am tempted to go to the lab, er... uh, make that kitchen, and whip up a batch of fireball chicken. Would you at least consider making a video the next time you do it?

I'm at a loss to explain why there would be a difference between electric heat and gas heat. Then again, I'm not enough of a chemist to know the conditions that would lead to an explosion (or as we used to say in the Titan II biz, "extremely rapid burning"). I assume that the mix of alcohol vapor and oxygen must be within some range of ratios for combustion to occur.

We used to have a chemist here, but I haven't seen a post from him lately.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

voigtman
05-03-2008, 12:55
This is one of the best threads I have ever seen: I just about fell out of my chair laughing! As a chemist, I've seen my share of explosions, but this really opens my eyes to the possibilities, given that I love chicken and bourbon, have an electric oven and even a video camera. But I'm also married and "the look" is most certainly not to be underestimated.

As for the electric vs. gas oven differences and the explosive range of ethanol-air mixtures, these are not my usual areas of expertise, but I tend to agree that the gas oven, with its superior air flow requirements, would tend to be less prone to the fireball effect: the ethanol concentration would not build up high enough for an explosion. However, direct ignition of spattered liquid might happen. It really would be nice to see this in a video, with the kitchen darkened!








John,

I am envious.

Although I'm no more than a subsistence cook as a rule, I am tempted to go to the lab, er... uh, make that kitchen, and whip up a batch of fireball chicken. Would you at least consider making a video the next time you do it?

I'm at a loss to explain why there would be a difference between electric heat and gas heat. Then again, I'm not enough of a chemist to know the conditions that would lead to an explosion (or as we used to say in the Titan II biz, "extremely rapid burning"). I assume that the mix of alcohol vapor and oxygen must be within some range of ratios for combustion to occur.

We used to have a chemist here, but I haven't seen a post from him lately.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

callmeox
05-03-2008, 13:10
Honey, when is dinner going to be ready?

Just a few more minutes...the oven door just needs to blow open once more and it should be PERFECT! While we're waiting, can you please grab the cheesy potato casserole that is roasting on the pile of burning tires in the backyard?

CorvallisCracker
05-03-2008, 18:43
Dear Mr. Brlowski:

Our crack team of webcrawlers encountered your post in the straighbourbon.com forum. We checked our records and saw that we had a policyholder matching your surname in northern Kentucky.

Today an investigator of ours interviewed several of your neighbors, who reported hearing a series of blasts the previous evening. "We thought it was his wife going after him with a shotgun. She's been threatening to do it if he bought any more bourbon."

We regret to inform you that your policy has been cancelled. Have a nice day.

Wendel Weaselsmith
Homeowners Policy Division
Ballstate Insurance Company

HipFlask
05-03-2008, 20:07
This thread cracks me up! I'm sure that the fact that I started out with Weller Antique 107, 07 GTS, and now WT RB at 108.2 proof makes it all the funnier. I am roasting a chicken tomorrow and I think some Bourbon is going to be in the marinade. I however have a gas stove which is good as I am batchin tonight while my wife is out of town. hmm...I wonder what "the look" would be like if upon my wifes return there is a hole where the house is supposed to be. lol guys.

jburlowski
05-04-2008, 13:50
The "several cups of bourbon" popped out at me...

You know...if you have an outdoor gas grill you can use that for baking as well

FWIW, the recipe can be found on the MM website.

NeoTexan
05-04-2008, 14:52
FWIW, the recipe can be found on the MM website.
I'll be darned .... it is. I did a quick Google search and found many variations. One listed the liquids as a marinade. Perhaps the MM recipe is mistyped?

d_nelly78
05-04-2008, 15:24
I know the look but usually I get it when making a crude comment in public. My wife and kids would really get a kick out of some indoor fireworks. I have insurance.:lol: The MM recipes look good but I think I will use less expensive bourbon for the recipe. CHEAPO!!!

cowdery
05-04-2008, 15:26
Booker Noe used to like to tell a similar story about his wife making a bourbon baked beans recipe and blowing the door off the oven. This supposedly happened twice. In their case the explanation was that the recipe called for 80 proof Jim Beam white label but Booker stored his barrel-proof personal selection (what later became Booker's) in an old Jim Beam 1.75 L bottle, which his wife used thinking it was the regular stuff.

dave ziegler
05-09-2008, 09:10
Chuck I don't know if they market it where you live but Purdue Chicken makes a very nice Bourbon Chicken breast Nuggets. They sell them in a reclosable freezer bag. The grocery store here near the Plant has them in the hot to go foods once a week most times they sell out every time I just got done having some for Lunch very tasty for a store offering, nice Bourbon flavor, I wonder who's Bourbon they use?
Dave Z
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
--------------------------------------------------