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  1. #1
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    Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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?
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  2. #2
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    I think I would have found an alternative method of cooking after the first fireball.

    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  3. #3
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeox View Post
    I think I would have found an alternative method of cooking after the first fireball.

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

    "All I want to know is who's the player on second base?"

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoTexan View Post
    The "four or five times" also popped out at me in the post.
    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
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

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  5. #5
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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?
    Illuminati in training

  6. #6
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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".
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  7. #7
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  8. #8
    Advanced Taster
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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!







    Quote Originally Posted by bluesbassdad View Post
    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

  9. #9
    Trippah and Admin
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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?
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  10. #10
    Irreverent One
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    Re: Exploding Bourbon Chicken

    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
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

 

 

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